SWSAL (South West Smartcard Alliance Ltd)

SWSAL (South West Smartcard Alliance Ltd)


SWSAL is a not for profit membership organisation that assist its members in delivering working smart ticketing and ITSO scheme. In April 2011, SWSAL, submitted a comprehensive LSTF bid in Tranche 1 for “ITSO based ticketing throughout all South West England”. The bid for £2.98million was approved in July 2011 and was used to deliver 3 core areas:

  • ITSO compliant ticket machines and required support services across all registered bus services in South West England
  • Delivering Europe’s first open access regional ITSO HOPS and Card Management System (CMS) Package, and England’s first region-wide E-money platform for transport ticketing (now known as the sQuid Travel Purse)
  • Supporting smart ticketing adoption within local authorities and community based organisations.

The original concept was so well received by SWSAL members that the remit for SWSAL expanded to provide a managed service for their members that included supporting operators with ETM set up, configuration and installations, hotlisting set up and monitoring, commercial ticketing set up, retailing and monitoring, ISAM management, customer help desk support and scholars smart ticketing.


SWSAL engaged SYSTRA in 2011 to undertake initial work on defining how to create and implement an ITSO Smart Card scheme. SYSTRA then worked closely with SWSAL and a number of its members including Gloucestershire County Council, Dorset, Poole & Bournemouth and the WoEP to initially migrate all their English National Concessionary schemes away from the ITSO back office over to the new SWSAL HOPS environment. Once this migration had been completed, focus then moved towards ensuring the smart on bus platform was working as expected. This included liaison with suppliers, technical support and testing.

SYSTRA have continued to work with SWSAL and its members to introduce commercial smart ticketing products, leading the scoping, planning and deliver of the first interoperable ITSO e-purse, which has been successfully running since 2013 with continuous growth in passengers, operators and areas.

SYSTRA have been key partner within the DfT sponsored Norfolk Managed Service Delivery Project. The Norfolk Managed Service Pilot Project, which started in March 2013, is a three-year implementation of smart and integrated ticketing on Norfolk’s bus services. This aims to :

  • evaluate the benefits of delivering public transport ticketing through smart technology;
  • understand the dynamics of using a managed service to deliver smart products and smart card based ticketing in areas where services are provided by a broad range of small, medium and large operators;
  • increase the number of smart enabled local bus journeys to over 20 million per year by the end of March 2016, equating to 65% of all bus journeys being made using smart media;
  • to define and deliver 6 ITSO products, retailed on-line with a customer proposition of purchase online by 9pm and collect on bus by 6am;

This was the first scheme in the country to deliver this and it has been successfully running since April 2014. SYSTRA is currently undertaking further technical testing for commercial schemes to support interoperability and more complex online retailing.

More recently SYSTRA have written the technical specification for the procurement framework that SWSAL have been undertaking to ensure members will have fit for purpose ITSO systems for the coming years and are now supporting tender evaluation..

SYSTRA have been a key partner over the last 6 years in working with us to deliver working ITSO smart ticketing schemes to not only ourselves but also our Members. They have made the process of delivering ITSO as easy and as user friendly to our Members as it can be, and that has been really appreciated.Dr Andrew Seedhouse, Chairman of South West Smartcard Alliance Ltd|

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