Transport for London looking to replace the Oyster smartcard with integrated ticketing systems including mobile phones.Transport for London (TfL) wants to replace the Oyster travelcard with new mobile phone or bankcard-based ticketing systems, the London Assembly heard yesterday.

As the transport body decides which technology route it should take following the termination of its contract with supplier consortium TranSys, TfL representatives said they were looking at options to take over from Oyster.

The main criteria for the prospective replacement include speed, convenience and the existing contactless element, said Will Judge, head of future ticketing at TfL.

Judge said that with new advances in technology, the system could be delivered on a smartcard like the Oystercard or on a phone or bankcard. But TfL would not develop the new system itself and would choose to take advantage of good practice elsewhere.

The Assembly also heard that TfL was investigating the integration aspect of the potential ticketing system in other transport areas such as riverboat services.

It also emerged that the Oyster brand could be completely eliminated should the smartcard be replaced.

“This committee is interested to hear about the new technologies that TfL is exploring for the delivery of their new ticketing system,” said John Biggs, chair of the London Assembly budget and performance committee

“We will look with interest during our examination of TfL’s business plan to see what level of savings is achieved.”

Last December TfL was the first to launch a large-scale near-field communications pilot in the UK, in partnership with Barclaycard, Nokia and O2, using 500 mobile handsets incorporating Oyster smartcard technology.

And Barclaycard has also launched OnePulse, the three-in-one card featuring Oyster travelcard, credit and contactless payment functions last year. The card provider announced it intended to issue more than one million contactless cards during 2008 as part of its migration programme to the new technology.

Source : www.computing.co.uk