TfL prepares for post-Oyster future
Will Judge, head of future ticketing at TfL said the main criteria for the prospective replacement include speed, convenience and the existing contactless element. With new advances in technology, the system could be delivered on a smartcard like the Oyster card or on a phone or banking card. But TfL would not develop the new system itself and would choose to take advantage of good practice elsewhere. The new system could also have a different name, meaning the death of the Oyster brand.
Projects are under scrutiny from the local authorities. “We will look with interest during our examination of TfL’s business plan to see what level of savings is achieved", said John Biggs, chair of the London Assembly budget and performance committee.
TfL has recently lunched several pilots involving new technologies:
- Last December, TfL launched a large-scale NFC pilot in the UK, in partnership with Barclaycard, Nokia and O2, using 500 mobile handsets incorporating Oyster technology (cf. SI #07-49). The pilot was hailed a success, with nine out of ten participants saying they were happy using NFC technology on a mobile phone and 78% said they would be interested in using contactless services if available (cf. SI #08-38).
- Barclaycard also launched OnePulse, the three-in-one card featuring Oyster travelcard, credit and contactless payment functions last year. The card provider announced it intended to issue more than one million contactless cards during 2008 as part of its migration program to the new technology (cf. SI #07-46).