COMMUTERS travelling between Brighton and Seaford by train are trialling new smartcard technology.
The card is an alternative to paper tickets, designed to make it easier and quicker for passengers to buy and use tickets.
Called ‘the key’, the new smartcard is reusable and can be recharged with tickets, including seasons, singles and returns.
The trial will be at all stations on the line from Brighton to Seaford where work has started on installing the equipment to support the smartcard.
In total 100 passengers will take part in the trial, which starts in September.
They will report back, so Southern can refine the system before rolling it out.
The smartcard will mean passengers can buy tickets online or via ticket machines at Southern stations in a one touch transaction, and they will be able to store different ticket products through their personal online account.
Southern’s development director Alex Foulds said: “This is just the start. The key smartcard will evolve over time with many possibilities for the future.
“For example in time we will be able to tailor ticket products such as ‘early bird’ season tickets for those who travel earlier than the morning rush hour, or perhaps a carnet-style season ticket for less frequent travellers.
“There will also be opportunities for integrated travel tickets such as rail-bus tickets.”
The trial will take place at Brighton, London Road, Moulsecoomb, Falmer, Lewes, Southease, Newhaven Town, Newhaven Harbour, Bishopstone and Seaford.
The key is the brand used by Go-Ahead Group companies such as Brighton & Hove Buses which already operates smartcard tickets.