Transport for the North to launch Smart on Rail project


Link here

Phew!  Two in one day.  More nonsense, I'm afraid.

Firstly, using an ITSO ticket product for point-to-point travel is perfectly feasible - not easy, but achievable. It will be implemented if only to please the DfT, but it's unlikely to get a wide implementation. TOCs are not ITSO fans and ITSO isn't a very good technology for rail; it might work for period passes between gated stations, but anything that has a reservation is a non-starter (what's the point of having a smart card ticket if you have to have a piece of paper telling when to catch the train and where to sit?). ITSO on Mobile might offer an answer, but why not just use the 2-D bar-codes that TOCs want to use anyway? Bar-code security could be improved at little cost (relative to an ITSO infrastructure), if that's a concern.

Those who propose using cEMV to tap-in, tap-out on national rail should try to work out the commercial proposition to TOCs and passengers before they begin to try to overcome the technical and (EMV) security issues. If they did so, they may find that they put the whole idea on the "too hard" pile.