LONDON TRANSPORT commissioner Bob Kiley last week told MPs that London's commuter railway is to be put under the joint control of Transport for London (TfL) and the Strategic Rail Autority (SRA).
He said such a move would help boost transport integration in London.
'Sixty per cent of Tube journeys originate with a train and at some level we need to oversee that interface, ' Kiley told the Commons transport sub-committee.
Kiley said that allowing TfL to oversee train operating franchises with the SRA would widen the scope for developing smartcard opportunities, currently being trialled on for the Tube and buses.
The Hong Kong style smart card experiment allows passengers to buy prepaid tickets which have amounts deducted after each journey.
Rail network integration would also ensure improved passenger information, common service standards, and clearer marketing and branding for passengers.
Kiley said the 12 franchises currently serving London were also 'ungainly' for management and safety reasons.
He said TfL wanted to limit the number of franchises, possibly restricting it to one.
'Look at Europe - Paris and Belgium - or Tokyo or Hong Kong. All have one metro service. None have 12, ' said Kiley.