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Cheshire expands smart card services

29 December 2011

cheshire-travelcardCheshire Integrated Transport Services (CITS) takes another step forward in its commitment to using technology to improve citizen services.

Working in partnership with ACT and sQuid; West Cheshire College, in Ellesmere Port and Chester College campuses, are now providing students with an innovative all-in-one contactless smart card that combines cashless transactions, pay-as-you-go Cheshire Travelcard ITSO ticketing, ID card and retail and leisure discounts through Cheshire’s own loyalty scheme, called Charisma.

Loading the card is simple and convenient. Students can view their account and top up their balance online and travel top-ups can be collected from the Retail POST® by ACT which is sited at convenient collection points, on both campuses. Alternatively, travel top-ups can be loaded on the bus when they board.

ACT provides Cheshire Integrated Transport Services core customer and transit back office systems. Working closely with all stakeholders, ACT extended their existing, scalable back office transaction processing and card management systems to facilitate the issue of the new students cards and link to the online consumer portal.

Colin Kennington, Principal Transport Officer at Cheshire Integrated Transport Services advised. “We first appointed ACT in 2004 on the strength of their ITSO capability; their challenge was to deliver a fully-compliant smart ticketing platform that would be inherently future-proof. This latest extension to our systems and services has made a real positive impact and we are delighted with this latest innovation.”

Since then ACT has worked with Cheshire to continue to evolve the way citizen services are delivered through a single card. In 2010, to pave the way for the pay-as-you-go Cheshire Travelcard, ACT enabled the ITSO stored travel rights (STR) issuance via the Cheshire Card Management System (CMS). This important achievement opened up the scheme’s operation to enable initiatives such as the all-in-one student card.

CITS provides in-house management and issuance of concessionary travel cards and commercial bus ticketing for the region. Their expertise in this area made them the ideal partner for West Chester College to issue the multi-service student cards with the College.

Over 4000 students are now using the cards, making the purchase of small items on campus easier and more convenient. This, along with the ability to manage travel top ups and the savings made through the Charisma scheme, helps students make the most out of their time at the college.

Developed by Cheshire West and Chester Council, the Charisma scheme enables students to receive discounts at restaurants, leisure facilities, hair and beauty salons as well as days out.

Gary Watts CEO, ACT commented: “Working with Cheshire Integrated Transport Services, on our joint passion for using smart card technology to offer multiple services has been an exciting journey for both organisations. This project is a great example of what can be achieved when working on a shared vision.”

For more information on ACT's work with Cheshire please read our case study.


For more information, please contact: Joanne Hutchinson, Marketing Manager, Applied Card Technologies Limited.

T: 01249 751200
F: 01249 751201