– Company awarded contract to collect details of bus journeys made by Freedom Pass holders outside London –
Smart technology company Ecebs has been awarded a two year contract by London Councils to collect details of bus journeys made outside London by Freedom Pass holders.
London Councils runs the Freedom Pass, Europe’s most comprehensive concessionary travel scheme for older and disabled people, on behalf of all the capital’s 33 local authorities. Ecebs has been contracted by London Councils to provide a single system to collect details of bus journeys made by all Freedom Pass holders outside the capital.
Each of the 1.3million Freedom Passes uses the UK standard system (ITSO) as well as Transport for London’s (TfL) smart ticketing scheme, Oyster, to record journeys made by pass holders. Oyster is used for trips made on the TfL network and London National Rail Services. ITSO is used on local bus services outside London.
Secondary legislation following the Concessionary Bus Travel Act 2007 requires all English Councils offering concessionary travel passes to have their own ITSO system. The Department for Transport is withdrawing ITSO support for London boroughs this month. (September).
David Burdett, Managing Director of Ecebs, said: “We are delighted to be working with London Councils on a project which will have a positive impact across London. The Paragon LITE solution provides a low cost migration path to full ITSO membership and can be expanded to meet increasing needs in the future very easily.”
The data is logged when Freedom Pass holders touch their pass on a card reader as they board a bus. The details of each journey are loaded into a database called a host operator processing system (HOPS).
Card readers are gradually being introduced on buses in local authorities outside London so the Paragon LITE system, will grow during the contract. On buses which do not yet have card readers, Freedom Pass holders show the bus driver their pass and journeys are recorded by the driver.
The London Councils contract is the latest in a series of wins for Ecebs which has extensive experience with ITSO. Paragon LITE was specifically developed to help local authorities adapt to the change in the law quickly and with minimal cost or disruption.
David Burdett added:
“The installation is expected to take just a few weeks as Paragon LITE is a very powerful and flexible solution that can be deployed very rapidly with no gap in service. We see this as very much a partnership, Ecebs is a key ITSO supplier with a wealth of smart card expertise which will be beneficial to London Councils both now and in the future.”