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The Key is a contactless smartcard that is being progressively introduced to replace paper ticketing in public transport in Britain. It stores electronic tickets for use on bus and rail services in the United Kingdom, mainly those operated by the Go-Ahead Group.
The Key is an ITSO compatible smartcard, ITSO being the UK Department for Transport’s chosen standard for interoperable contactless ticketing. It is also the format that ENCTS concessionary passes are required to be issued in. All Go-Ahead bus services which accept The Key also process ENCTS cards electronically.
The Key brand is owned and operated by the British public transport company Go-Ahead Group. The Key is available to customers on the majority of the deregulated bus services operated by Go-Ahead Group in towns and cities across England.
In addition, Southern and London Midland train operators have introduced The Key as a new smart ticketing system on a phased basis across a series of routes and stations since 2010.
The London Oyster card system was not originally compatible with ITSO. ITSO cards can now be used on Oyster card readers.
1 Bus and rail operators accepting The Key
3 See also
4 External links
Bus and rail operators accepting The Key
Further information: Contactless smartcards on the railways of Britain
As of 21 January 2013[update], the position is:
Full range of ticket types means that tickets can be purchased for single rides, daily, weekly, monthly and season tickets.
Mode of Transport
Bournemouth and Dorset
Wilts & Dorset
Zonal coverage includes overlap with Bluestar Buses
Brighton and Hove
Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company Ltd
Crawley and Surrey, Sussex and Kent region
Isle of Wight
Newcastle, Sunderland and North East region
July 2010 (pilot) April 2011 (full rollout)
Go North East
2007 Initial introduction, converted to ITSO in October 2010
August 2011, Oxford SmartZone