Regional Transport Smart card – The POP card

pop card

In January 2009, Prof Phil Blythe chaired a workshop at The Stadium of Light in Sunderland which launched the concept of NESTI (North East Smart Ticketing Initiative). In the ensuing two years TORG and the SIDE project have provided input and advice into the design concept based upon their on-going work in evaluation the first major installation of the ITSO national smartcard specification in the YORCARD project and through previous work directly for the DfT on the ITS specification and in the EU funded IFM (interoperable fare management) project. The Transport activity is proposing to develop tools to analyse the data generated by the smartcard scheme to understand how socially excluded groups (who will be the first to be issued with the new NEXUS smartcards, which are now branded a the POP Card), use their smartcard for public transport and how they may be assisted to use the cards better and how the public transport operations could potentially be reconfigured to better suit the needs of the end users. Proof of concept work on such data analysis was carried out by TORG on data from the Nottinghamshire smart-scheme during 2006-2008 (a summary of which won best paper at the ITS UK conference in June 2007, The Pop Card was launched by the DG of Nexus, Bernard Garner on 14th February 2011 with the scheme going live towards the end of the year. A movie about the Pop Card can be found at: In parallel with the Nexus activity, National bus companies will start accepting English National Concessionary Travel Cards (which also conform to the ITSO smartcard specification). Go North East is the first to accept these cards and their system went live on 1st April 2011.

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