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Cards smarter than you think


Your article 'Travel smart cards incompatible' (NCE last week) is completely misleading. In particular, the assertion that that Association of Train Operating Companies and Transport for London are developing independent, noncompatible smart cards is just plain wrong.

TfL's Prestige team has been working on smart card system compatibility together with London Underground, ATOC and Transys for more than two and a half years. Indeed, LT Prestige, ATOC and Transys were founder members of the ITSO and in the interests of seamless passenger movement have been working together for common standards of transport smart cards since its inception.

As far as we are aware, ATOC has no plans for developing its own travel smart card and we are all aiming for complete card systems infrastructure, not just card compatibility.

TfL is currently discussing a proposal from Transys to provide TOCs within the Travelcard area with the necessary equipment to be able to read Prestige issued Travelcards. If acceptable to ATOC and the TOCs, this initiative could have a significant, positive impact on the success of smart cards and facilitate the Government's and Mayor's visions of improved, integrated public transport.

Robert Lane (M), chair of integration board, Transport for London, Windsor House, 42-50 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0TL

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