Transport for London's new ticketing contract will drive the switch to next generation ticketing, London Underground's managing director has confirmed.
The ability to switch to NFC and other next generation transaction technologies was a key factor in the renegotiation of Transport for London's Oyster ticketing contract, it has become clear this week.
"The MD of London Underground Tim O'Toole said the ability to use near field communication-enabled phones and other next-gen ticketing tech on London's public transport will be enabled by the new deal," says technology news service Silicon.com.
In August 2008 TfL announced it was terminating early its existing contract with TranSys for the delivery of the Oyster ticketing system. In October, TfL reported to the London Assembly on its future ticketing plans and, in November, it signed a new ticketing deal with EDS and Cubic (two of the four members of the TranSys consortium) that, this time, gives TfL full control of the Oyster brand.
Now fuller details are beginning to emerge of what that new deal might mean. Tim O'Toole, London Underground's managing director, told Silicon.com this week:
The problem with the prior contractual arrangement was that once we had made the jump to Oyster and it was up and running there was little incentive to jump to next-generation electronic ticketing like near field communications.
The new contractual structure will allow for great flexibility and more changes.
As the market evolves we want to make sure that we are part of that and it is about putting a system in place that allows for that to happen.