Transport secretary Chris Grayling has said that passengers will be able to use smart ticketing across “almost all” of the network in England and Wales by the end of 2018.
A planned £80 million will be spent on the programme to ensure the government is able to deliver on the pledge.
In an announcement from the Department for Transport, three project aims have been listed:
- All passengers will have the choice of travelling without a paper ticket by the end of 2018
- Mobile barcode ticketing will be rolled out in every rail franchise
- Passengers will be able to have smart cards hosted on their mobile phone.
A pilot of the latter technology is expected within the next few months.
The Department for Transport is currently working with train companies on the introduction of mobile phone smart cards, with deals soon to be reached with three of them.
The department is also working with the Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operating companies, to expedite the development of a new generation of ticketing systems, to give passengers more tailored options.