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  • Transport Card Forum

    The Transport Card Forum (TCF) was established by Smartex in 1997 at the request of the UK Department for Transport (DfT). It is a membership-based association open to all who are involved professionally with transport applications of smart cards and other smart customer media within the UK. The TCF is a forum where members and delegates from the public and private sector meet for discussion and mutual education relating to smart ticketing, smart payment, journey management and reporting, and to the underlying technologies supporting such applications.

    Originally established to assist in enabling the implementation of integrated transport policies as set out in the 1998 UK government Integrated Transport White Paper, its role has been updated and strengthened with the publishing in 2009 of a specific government strategy for smart and integrated ticketing on public transport in England. There have been parallel developments in Wales and Scotland. The TCF meets in plenary sessions 4 times per year. Much of its work is carried out in Working Groups which address issues of the moment and report back to the TCF, often with recommendations for the DfT to consider.

    What our members say: “Everyone who’s anyone in the transport industry is a member of The Transport Card Forum.” Mel Pashley, Ecebs “The Transport Card Forum is uniquely valuable as it delivers instant access to the sector leaders and their wide-ranging knowledge. The Forum is tremendously useful for the DfT as it represents stakeholders in smart cards and in many related areas such as e-payment.” Eric Sampson, formerly Director of Vehicle Telematics, DfT

  • 2016 Meetings

    Smartex Forum meetings, whilst planned in advance in terms of overall themes, are designed to cover important topics of the moment, whether technical or operational.

    A number of subject areas have already been identified as being relevant for consideration and debate during 2016.  These are set out below, within each of our Forums.  They are naturally subject to change, depending upon the status of the various market sectors at the time of the meetings.

    The TCF meets quarterly.  Meeting subjects are selected by the TCF Steering Group.  Amongst the topics and activities that we are likely to be addressing are:

    • Updates from the DfT for current and proposed smart ticketing and payment strategies
    • Establishment of TCF Working Groups for analysis and recommendations on topical issues
    • The continuing development of NFC and use of NFC-enabled mobiles for transport applications such as ticketing, boarding cards and payment
    • Monitoring of initiatives and plans for commercial smart ticketing and payment
    • Smart ticketing and payments for rail and bus
    • Developing effective Real-Time-Information systems
    • Overview of smart technology for air and sea travel
    • Exposing relevant technical issues, for example for bus exit reading and ungated train stations
    • Using tokenisation technology to improve security
    • Pay-As-You-Go in urban areas
    • Updates on the progress of the ITSO specification and of ITSO Limited activities
    • Examination of processes required in moving between ITSO versions
    • Contactless card technology relevant to smart ticketing and payment
    • Do UK transport operators really want interoperability?
    • Migration from proprietary smart ticketing to ITSO, or mixing them?
    • Development of costing models for the real price of operating an ITSO scheme
    • How to educate buyers as to the real impact of ITSO and EMV on product development
    • Improving the whole-journey experience with smart technology
    • Assessment of winners and losers in the transport contactless payment arena
    • Case studies from UK LA-controlled and commercial smart transport scheme operators
    • Case studies from overseas smart transport initiatives
    • TCF16: Leeds selected for annual two-day regional conference and exhibition


    Meeting Agendas and Dates

    • For 2016 meeting dates and agendas please click here.
  • Updated on 27th May 2016

    UK: Local rail passengers to benefit from innovatie mobile tickets
    Tenby Observer

    Health and safety gone mad: Conductors to stop clipping train tickets over sore wrists
    An Abellio Greater Anglia spokeswoman said: "An increasing number of people are using mobile, print at home and smart ticketing options for their ...
    (At last: the real trigger for the migration to smart ticketing. Ed.)

    Real world IoT implementations – Digital signage for transit systems
    Electronics Weekly (blog)
    There is plenty of talk about IoT in general, but case studies of real-world implementations are less common. You may want to check out this free Intel ...

    CalMac wins £900m ferry contract
    BBC News
    Caledonian MacBrayne has won a new £900m contract to continue operating the Clyde and Hebrides Ferries Network…and pledges to introduce smart and integrated ticketing systems on key routes.

    Your smartphone is about to ease your commute
    The cities are able to do this with the use of contactless technology — readers that can accept payments by smartphone or by bank card that don't ...
    (No more swiping; contactless is, um, here. Read this and laugh. Ed.)

    Dutch to abolish cash payments for public transport
    International Railway Journal
    By 2018 it will only be possible to pay for travel using the national OV Chipkaart contactless smartcard, a smartphone, or a contactless bank card.

    UK: Trains passengers in Wales will soon be able to use their phones as tickets

    France: Say 'au revoir' to the Paris Metro ticket
    (Only 25 years behind the Brits, then: L’editeur)

    HALLELUJAH: Melbourne's Broke-Ass Myki System Is Finally Getting Upgraded
    Pedestrian TV
    Public Transport Victoria today confirmed that contactless card payment options would be rolled out to all top-up vending machines across the city, ...

    Smart traffic management for connected cars using Watson IoT and Node-RED on Bluemix
    developerWorks - IBM
    Imagine you are the controller of road traffic in your town. Wouldn't it be nice to set up an app which automatically directs cars to slow down when they ...

    Oyster Cards: Where Else Should You Be Able To Use Them?
    We've surely all been in the position where we've had to work out whether to buy a paper ticket or just hop on with a contactless payment. One day, we ...

    US: Masabi mobile ticketing coming to New York MTA

    The Bus Services Bill could revolutionise life in England's cities
    And of course they are able to roll-out a particularly effective form of integrated smart ticketing – first Oyster, and now contactless. London now ...

    Android Pay
    Transport for London
    If your phone can download the Android Pay app from Google Play, then you can add supported payment cards and use it to make contactless ...

    Transport technology on track: inside Sydney's smart card success
    The Mandarin (registration)
    The Opal card won over the public faster and without the opprobrium that greeted similar transport technology rollouts.

    Biometrics technology promises to end long lines at the airport and increase personalization
    Huffington Post
    (Clearly hasn’t been through a British airport, then. Ed.)

    Brussels chooses Vix Technology to deliver future-proof transit ticketing back office
    Vix Technology

    Second Trip Free For London Buses: Schedule & Details Here
    The options are only Oyster, Travelcard, Visitor Oyster and contactless payment. This act is in response to his promise during the election campaign to ...

    Proxama deploys its technology across London buses
    Proactive Investors UK
    Proxama has initiated the first of its mobile proximity advertising campaigns on London buses, marking a key milestone for the ...

    Customer service in the age of smart rail technologies
    Railway Technology
    Smart ticketing systems and other new technologies are revolutionising how passengers experience rail transport, with flexible, remote journey ...

    Honolulu taps INIT for smart card, mobile ticket system
    Chesapeake Economic Development
    The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) and the City’s Department of Transportation Services (DTS) have partnered with INIT for the implementation of a smart card and mobile ticketing solution for use across TheBus and the Honolulu rail transit systems.

    Mobile Ticketing: Why Barcode? Masabi Blog This post provides some background on barcode ticketing and corrects some common misconceptions.

    UK: BUS Firm Launch Mobile Ticket App
    Inverclyde Now







  • tcf-16-Logo
    Transport Card Forum Conference and Exhibition

    The Journey to Mobile

    27th and 28th September 2016

    The Queens Hotel, Leeds

    Smartex is pleased to announce that TCF16 will take place in central Leeds, emphasising the work being carried out to bring the North on board with integrated smart ticketing and payment.

    The overall theme for the two days will be to explore and understand the impact of the impending widespread use of smartphones for transport-related applications.

    The conference will also consider the difficulties and challenges over the next few years, where paper tickets, smart cards and mobiles will be used in parallel, probably alongside a variety of wearable technologies.

    Smartex will shortly commence marketing activities to attract some 20 sponsors and exhibitors to support the event, and is now developing the conference agenda in order to attract a wide variety of delegates from all sides of the smart transport game.

    For more early-bird information, please contact Richard Poynder at or on 01440 712610.

  • Ten Reasons to Join Smartex

    • How much of retail and transport services will contactless EMV penetrate, and when?
    • How will the explosive growth of IoT affect our market?
    • Smart cards could soon be superseded by mobile NFC: but how and when?
    • Could alternatives to NFC, such as 2D Barcodes, BLE or iBeacon become dominant?
    • Why is there no clear national strategy for commercial public transport payment systems?
    • Will the new breed of e/m-payment players threaten the existing schemes?
    • Who will win in the emerging micropayment, e-payment, prepaid and m-payment worlds?
    • Who will win the m-wallet wars, and is there really a future for m-wallets?
    • Will smart ticketing and payment interoperability give ITSO a true national role in public transport?
    • Will smart campus schemes migrate to NFC or adopt biometrics?

    Smartex Forums debate and seek answers to these and other pressing, highly topical issues.

    Be part of the largest network of smart associations in the world.

    Since 1993, 510 of our sector-specific meetings have attracted some 16,000 delegate-days of attendance, with over 1,800 specialist speakers covering the entire spectrum of smart cards, mobile NFC, IoT, biometrics, RFID tags and related technologies as applied to the main smart market areas.  With so many new technologies, applications and form factors on the near horizon, it’s hard to understand or even imagine our industry without Smartex meetings and networking.

    During 2015, 499 different individuals attended our 20 meetings, representing 294 organizations.  And UK membership is growing, with record levels of new and renewing members.  Worldwide membership, covering our affiliated associations in Asia Pacific and Central Eastern Europe, exceeds 220 companies from all parts of our industry.  Networking, and doing business with fellow members and other delegates, not only in the UK but also through our affiliated Forums overseas, is therefore yet another real benefit of membership.

    Annual membership fees, which have not risen for several years, can be as low as £1,100 - for 4 full-day attendances and a wide range of other useful services - which makes £950+ for a one-day public conference look pretty expensive.  Can you afford not to be part of this growing and influential group at the heart of these fast-moving and volatile technologies so vital in the new e and m-worlds?

    Join Us Now

  • Members' Pages

    Members have access to restricted content.

    To access presentations from past meetings of our forums, click on the links below:

    Smart Card Club

    Transport Card Forum


    Smart Payments Forum

    Near Field Club

    Internet of Things Association

    Delegates' Area

    Delegates have access to presentations from the latest Smartex meeting.

    Delegate Presentations

  • WG26: Interoperability - the customer requirements and the commercial opportunity

    February 2015: this new Working Group seeks further volunteers to join it and to assist in developing the work packages to be included within its report.

    To view the draft of the terms of reference and proposed content for WG26, click here