Brighton train passengers to test smart cards

Posted On 22 Aug 2011 at 5:05 am

Brighton train passengers are to have their own equivalent of the Oyster card as they test a new smart card called the Key.

The trial is being run by Southern on trains between Brighton and Seaford.

A hundred passengers will take part in the trial, testing the electronic alternative to paper tickets.

The Key can be charged with season tickets, singles and returns from Brighton Station, London Road, Moulsecoomb and Falmer.

Work has already begun on fitting the equipment required to support the Key.

The 100 passengers will report back on their experiences of using the Key when the trial gets starts in September.

Southern intends to refine the system based on their feedback before introducing it elsewhere on the rail network.


The aim is to provide a faster and easier way for them to buy their tickets –including online – and one which will avoid the need to queue.

Alex Foulds, Southern’s development director, 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 Key is the brand used by Go-Ahead Group companies such as Brighton and Hove Buses which already operates smartcard tickets. 

Southern said that it was based on a nationwide government-backed standard for all future smartcard schemes known as the ITSO standard.

  1. Rostrum Reply

    About time to…

  2. caeos Reply

    err no they dont — yet
    “The Key is the brand used by Go-Ahead Group companies such as Brighton and Hove Buses which already operates smartcard tickets. “

  3. Ghost Bus Driver Reply

    Brighton and Hove Buses are about to introduce the key but company staff already have a special version (Purple) which is in use. Concession card holders also scan their cards.
    It’ll be first the students (Green), then Annual and 3 month holders (Orange) and then Weekly and Saver tickets (Not sure what colour these will be), then Bus ID holders last.

    The first cards have actually been delivered as I saw the boxes the other day

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