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Author Topic: smart cards for Bristol area  (Read 773 times)
infoman
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« on: August 15, 2022, 04:59:50 pm »

https://news.gwr.com/news/gwr-to-launch-new-pay-as-you-go-smartcard-for-wider-bristol-area
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ellendune
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« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2022, 06:05:34 pm »

Why does it stop at Chippenham?
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2022, 06:56:46 pm »

Is this using the same smartcard readers that have been at stations, with no discernible purpose, for several years?
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stuving
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« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2022, 08:10:14 pm »

Is this using the same Touch smartcards that have been around for several years?

GWR (Great Western Railway) have left this bafflingly unclear. I suspect it is the same object, just linked to a payment card and enabled for this Bristol scheme. But there are no words or links (at least not yet) about the Bristol scheme on the Smart ticketing pages, though the specific GWR pay-as-you-go pages is a daughter page of the Touch smartcard page.

The launch page does say:
Quote
Train tickets and season tickets can also be stored on your smartcard with pay-as-you-go, except a Flexi Season ticket. GWR advises that a Flexi Season ticket is not used in combination with pay-as-you-go and customers should obtain a separate smartcard for these products.

That implies it's the same card - so why not say so directly? I guess the issue with Flexi-seasons is the back office can't tell if you wanted to use it that day or not.
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ChrisB
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« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2022, 08:25:51 pm »

Errr….it refers to

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The GWR (Great Western Railway) touch smartcard will be available to use across the west of England area

Twice on that page….
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stuving
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« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2022, 11:41:01 pm »

Errr….it refers to

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The GWR (Great Western Railway) touch smartcard will be available to use across the west of England area

Twice on that page….

But it was introduced in the heading - and several other times - as "the new pay-as-you-go GWR touch smartcard". Saying it's "available to use across the west of England area" is still rather vague until you know what it can be used for. It's implying a common function with the old GWR touch smartcards, which is what I think needs to be spelled out.

It says the new card can hold other rail tickets, which sounds like it can do anything an old card can.

The instructions for getting one suggest that for Bristol PAYG (Pay as you go) it has to be a new card, an old one won't do it.
Quote
Get ready and pre-order your free GWR smartcard now
Coming soon in late August 2022, get your GWR touch smartcard now and we’ll let you know when you can start enjoying pay-as-you-go travel with GWR.
  • register for an account or login if you already have one
  • go to ‘Manage smartcards’ within your account and choose ‘Apply for a smartcard’ from the drop-down menu
  • fill out the form and submit your order
  • you should usually receive your free smartcard within five working days

So are there two distinct cards? Or is this "new card" really a new feature of the existing cards?
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ChrisB
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« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2022, 10:21:56 am »

That very much sounds to me that they have upgraded the chip in the Touch card to store a pre-pay method. So a new card is required to enable usage of that function. If you only want to store tickets, there isn’t a need to order afresh as that is what old cards already do.
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stuving
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« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2022, 10:44:08 am »

That very much sounds to me that they have upgraded the chip in the Touch card to store a pre-pay method. So a new card is required to enable usage of that function. If you only want to store tickets, there isn’t a need to order afresh as that is what old cards already do.

Exactly. My point was that, for someone who holds an existing GWR (Great Western Railway) touch smartcard, they have suggested that it won't work for this new feature so a new one is needed. But then again, maybe not, as the new cards can do what the old ones can.

So why not just say which it is? It would naturally form part of the "how to sign up" section: "If you have an existing GWR touch smartcard, it can/cannot be upgraded for the Bristol pay-as-you-go service."

I do sometimes get the impression that training in customer relations (or whatever the taught subject is called) is a bit light on "does it make sense from all your different customers' viewpoints".
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plymothian
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« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2022, 01:07:53 pm »

PAYG (Pay as you go) will work with existing cards.

You just need to apply to have the ABT (Account Based Ticketing) product loaded on to your card.
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ChrisB
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« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2022, 01:41:44 pm »

And how is that done without returning it to have the chip updated? That may be exactly why it would be easier simply to reissue the card?
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Phantom
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« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2022, 02:27:35 pm »

Followed the link and description given, no page showing tabs mentioned

Tweeted GWRhelp as per their help page..... no reply
Oh well
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plymothian
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« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2022, 06:48:17 pm »

And how is that done without returning it to have the chip updated? That may be exactly why it would be easier simply to reissue the card?

Smartcards don't work like that, there is no 'chip' as such, they simply store up to 5 products at a time, one of which will be an ABT product potentially alongside a season ticket, flexi season and a walk up ticket.

The ABT ticket captures the touchs in and out, which is then processed back office at the end of the day and a debit request sent to your payment card.  ABT does not store payment directly, it acts as a middleman.

To add the ABT product to an exist smartcard is the same as loading any other ticket.
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ChrisB
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« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2022, 06:54:23 pm »

Which is by touching in at a ticket barrier.

How do you send the ABT to the ticket barrier? Ordering it online? That means some form of update within your account to effect that? Surely its far simpler to order a card with it pre-loaded?
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