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c2c delivers "Industry First" Smart-Ticketing services with ACT


Working with Applied Card Technologies (ACT), award-winning train operator c2c has deployed an advanced smart-ticketing solution and now has more than 9,000 smartcard users. Already, more than 25% of c2c annual season ticket holders have adopted c2c smartcards, which deliver cost savings compared to paper tickets, and reduced queuing at stations.

To further enhance the passenger experience, c2c collaborated with ACT to create an Automated Delay Repay solution that compensates passengers automatically for services that are delayed for as little as two minutes. The ACT smart-ticketing platform is also powering c2c's Flexi-Season ticket - the industry's first - which saves part-time and flexible workers up to £135 a year on their rail fares.


Smart-ticketing services make it easier, faster and more convenient to travel. Passengers can buy their tickets online, in-station, or on their mobile devices. And they can pass through station barriers with a tap of their c2c Smartcards, and have access to special deals which are not available with traditional paper tickets. To deliver these benefits for its passengers, award-winning rail operator c2c has been partnering with smart-ticketing expert, ACT (part of the Fujitsu Group), since 2013. Sam Norman, Smart Ticketing Manager at c2c Rail, which is part of the National Express Group, says, “We initially chose to partner with ACT because of its industry-leading smart-ticketing platform, which is used by many of the bus and rail smart-ticketing schemes in  the UK. We were also hugely impressed by ACT’s in-depth knowledge of ITSO standards, which they demonstrated on prior projects with the National Express Group. They were able to define an appropriate smartticketing product catalogue for us quickly and effectively, and get it right first time.”To accelerate the delivery of smart ticketing, ACT coordinated multiple project partners and ensured that all solution components worked together effectively, from the core ACT smartticketing platform, to station gatelines and TVMs (Ticket Vending Machines), and the online ticket issuing system (WebTIS). In addition, ACT helped to integrate the new c2c smart-ticketing infrastructure with Transport for London (TfL) systems at in-boundary stations in London.



As part of its commitments for renewing its franchise in 2014, c2c pledged to build on its ACT-powered smart-ticketing capabilities.



In the past, only 15% of passengers applied to receive the compensation they were entitled to after travelling on delayed services, and paper compensation applications increased administrative workloads and costs for c2c. To improve the passenger experience and save on admin, c2c worked with ACT to develop a new Automatic Delay Repay (ADR) solution. To make ADR work, the ACT smartticketing system produces a ‘journey file’ that shows the exact time a passenger tapped into their station of origin and the time they arrived at their destination.  This is cross-referenced with train departure and arrival data, and passengers are compensated for delays of more than two minutes.



In the past, c2c passengers travelling for work two or three times a week had to buy single tickets, which was more expensive per journey than a season ticket. Working with ACT, c2c is now giving flexible and part-time travellers a better deal with the UK’s first flexible season ticket. The ACT smart-ticketing system supports the sale of c2c’s Flexi-Season ticket and coordinates with other elements of the smart-ticketing infrastructure to load 10 journeys to the customer’s c2c Smartcard. These journeys can be undertaken on any day, and at any time, whenever the passenger needs


Overall, c2c’s smart-ticketing services are delivering new value for passengers, helping to build new levels of loyalty and satisfaction. “In the beginning, our ACT smart-ticketing solution replicated paper ticket options, but the latest generation of services goes much further than that,” says Sam. “Now, our c2c Smartcards offer big savings compared to paper tickets, with compensation and discounts delivered automatically – it all adds up to a much better passenger experience.”With so much additional value available for passengers, demand for c2c Smartcards is soaring. “Already, more than 25% of our annual season ticket holders use Smartcards rather than paper tickets,” says Sam. “This figure is increasing every day as more and more passengers are attracted to the benefits of using a Smartcard.”



ACT-powered smart-ticketing services are also helping c2c to minimise operational costs by eliminating manual admin. “With a growing number of passengers using c2c Smartcards, we spend less time selling tickets and more time on core tasks that improve the passenger experience,” says Sam. “What’s more, we’ve reduced other manual processes, such as processing passengers’ paper compensation applications, which used to take us a lot of time. These efficiency improvements are great news for our passengers and also for our business.”


c2c, which was named Passenger Operator of the Year for 2015 at the National Rail Awards, is delivering the best performance in the UK rail industry for a franchised operator, holding the UK records for annual punctuality (97.5%) and four-weekly punctuality (98.8%). Now, with its innovative Smartcard service, c2c is further cementing its reputation for operational and customer service excellence. 


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“Based on real time information on passenger journeys, we can deliver the right compensation for passengers every time, building trust and loyalty. The service has proved so popular that we had 1,500 new c2c Smartcard applications in the month after we went live, which exceeded all our expectations.”

Key facts

FLEXI-SEASON: The Benefits

The ACT-powered Flexi-Season ticket delivers major benefits for passengers, giving them a 5% discount on paper ticket prices with the flexibility of a further 10% off if they subsequently use the ticket to travel off peak.
Sam says, “The Flexi-Season ticket we have created with ACT, which is the first of its kind, saves part-time commuters up to £135 a year. The solution is also helping with queues at our ticket offices, especially at peak times such as Monday mornings to reduce the morning stress for passengers when they arrive at the station.”

“...It all adds up to much better passenger experience.”