FirstGroup Plc has renewed its central SaaS contract with ACT (Applied Card Technologies Limited) to support its growing smart ticketing innovations and to support its new franchise, Great Western Railway (GWR).
GWR manages 208 stations and its trains call at over 280 stations. It operates train services between London Paddington, South Wales, the Cotswolds and the West of England.
A proven platform
ACT already works with FirstGroup and provides the smart ticketing back-office platform for the First Bus network. Under this new deal, ACT will deliver smart ticketing systems and services for both bus and rail operations for FirstGroup. This will include the HOPS (Host Operator or Processing System), integrated CMS (Customer Management System), RSP(Rail Settlement Plan) capable ticket fulfilment services together with access to the latest portfolio of digital ticketing and payment systems to come from the innovations team at ACT. All of FirstGroup businesses can now benefit from the economies of scale offered by the group contract.
ACT’s Professional Services Team are leading the integration with in-the-field systems such as station ticketing gates, platform ticket validators, ticket vending machines, on train retail ticketing and online ticketing portals.
James Timperley, FirstGroup’s Retail Development Director, said: “Smart and mobile ticketing is becoming increasingly popular as our customers seek choice and ease in their travel options. By partnering with ACT, the leading company in its field, FirstGroup is taking a big step towards the delivery of our smart ticketing ambitions across both our First Bus and First Rail divisions.”
Gary Watts, ACT CEO, said: “We are delighted to cement our relationship with FirstGroup and look forward to helping GWR implement smart ticketing across its network using our proven, end-to-end ticketing systems and services. The benefits this will bring to passengers include easier and quicker ticket purchase, speedier boarding and fewer queues at ticket kiosks.”
Train operators across the country recognise the significant benefits of smart ticketing and are now deploying smart ticketing to make buying tickets and travelling easier, quicker and more convenient for passengers.