Solent Transport has become the first UK local transport authority to be accredited to sell rail tickets through its multi-modal Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) offering.
The partnership of four local transport authorities covering the Isle of Wight, Hampshire County, Portsmouth and Southampton, can now retail the tickets thanks to its partnership with Unicard, a provider of smart ticketing and payment solutions to the public and commercial transport sector.
Unicard’s Rail Suite platform, designed to support rail accreditation, has enabled Solent Transport to sell rail tickets through its Breeze travel app.
In 2021, in line with its Future Transport Zone (FTZ) programme, Solent Transport appointed Unicard as part of a consortium to develop a MaaS powered app that would make travel in the region easier and more accessible.
Conrad Haigh, Solent Transport Manager and Smart Transport board member, adds: “Solent is one of the UK’s designated FTZs. We have plans to transform access to public transport services in the region with the help of our new Breeze app, developed as a central part of FTZ programme”.
“We are now taking that vision a step further having achieved rail accreditation as an agent. Solent Transport is proud to deliver rail ticketing for a UK MaaS product, there is still more to come with new products been introduced to the app regularly, as we look to support customers in accessing all forms of transport and travel within our region. Unicard has played a key role in helping us to provide ticketing services that meet the needs of transport providers across the region”, he added.
Unicard’s Rail Suite effectively manages the complex data integrations and certifications required for the app to interface with the back-office systems of the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), the body responsible for selling and issuing tickets for travel. In addition, Unicard provides the support necessary to ensure Solent Transport meets all the standards required for accreditation by RDG to sell rail tickets including customer care, aftersales and financial reconciliation.
Sean Dickinson, CEO of Unicard, said: “Rail accreditation is yet another component that local authorities can add to their transport offerings. It’s in line with the UK Government’s Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail that encourages transport authorities to sell rail tickets directly in their respective regions.”