Smartcard Advice to the Welsh Government

Smartcard Advice to the Welsh Government


The Welsh Government first sought to introduce smart card ticketing for concessionary travel in 2007 and has since continued to evolve and develop smart card capability within Wales.

Initially it required advice on scheme policy, such as concessionary reimbursement and funding for ticket machines, as well as support and advice on procuring back office systems, customer service interfaces and bus ticket machines.

The Welsh Government also required resources to implement the scheme to ensure that operators’ ticket machines and back office systems were correctly configured and integrated. With many small operators in Wales, spread over a wide area, this was a huge task and required a flexible and dedicated team to work with operators of all sizes.

Once live, further advice was required to develop the fundamental rules and practical application of card hot listing, both within Wales and cross border into England. On a day-to-day basis, the Welsh Government required expertise to solve technical issues that arose. Once the concessionary scheme was firmly established, the Welsh Government looked to capitalise on the investment it had made in its smart ticketing system by introducing other smart ticket products including ePayment card pilots and more recently the National Youth card for 16 – 19 year olds. For each product, the Welsh Government sought advice on scheme rules and technical specifications, as well as resource for testing and implementation.

In 2013 the Welsh Government re-procured the back office systems supporting its smart card schemes and required expert advice to develop the tender documentation and assist with evaluation.

Cathryn Jones

SYSTRA Project Manager

« Our long-term relationship with the Welsh Government is built on trust. We work alongside them to provide the right level of support when it’s needed and we know they will turn to us if they need to bring in expertise and resources. »


The Welsh Government has employed a framework of consultants to provide knowledge and expertise for its various smart card projects.

SYSTRA was awarded the position of preferred consultant, providing support to the Welsh Government on an ongoing basis. The framework was re-procured in 2013 and SYSTRA retained the position as preferred supplier.

As the trusted source of advice and technical knowledge, SYSTRA works alongside key contacts from the Welsh Government to provide a flexible team of experts who can support all facets of smart card development, based on a wealth of experience from across the UK. We provide project management and implementation resources to support each smart card initiative, taking ownership for the timely delivery of agreed outcomes from suppliers, the Welsh Government and operators.

We are responsible for identifying other resource required to support each initiative, such as technical advice or testing and co-ordinate this on behalf of the Welsh Government. In most instances this resource is provided by other specialist members of the team.

On an on-going basis we liaise directly with operators, local authorities and suppliers as trusted representatives of the Welsh Government and work with them to identify and resolve issues, reporting back and recommending actions as required.

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