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Smart Card launched in Cardiff
A new travel card is launched today which is set to transform public transport in Wales’ capital.
The Iff Card - launched by Cardiff Bus – utilises new technology and aims to encourage bus use around the city centre by making travel easier.
The card is linked to the Sustainable Travel City scheme - run by Cardiff Council and the Welsh Assembly Government - and aims to help the Welsh capital to become a Sustainable Travel City by encouraging bus use around the city centre.
The new card will be unveiled to the public at 12:30pm outside Cardiff Library by Deputy First Minister and Minister for the Economy and Transport, Ieuan Wyn Jones, Cardiff Councillor Delme Bowen, Executive Member for Transport and Cardiff councillor Joseph Carter, Chair of Cardiff Bus.
Iff – which is a smart card similar to those in use by travel companies nationwide – will be unique to each user. It can be pre-loaded with credit, signalling an end to paying by change for each journey and can also be used as a season ticket. It also allows customers to stop their card and retrieve their current balance if they lose it
In launching the new card, Cardiff Bus will be the first UK bus company to allow users of its Iff Card to go up to £3 into debit – the equivalent of two single journeys in the capital.
Cardiff Bus is also planning to extend its communication with customers – as championed through its use of Twitter and Facebook – by sending service updates to passengers via text or email during spells of traffic congestion or bad weather.
Councillor Joe Carter, Chair of Cardiff Bus, says:
“A smartcard has been an aspiration of Cardiff Bus for many years, and it has been the developing technology that has – until today – held us back. You cannot have missed that the name of our new smartcard is the “IFF” card, a play on “Card” and “iff”. Our aim is for “IFF” to become as much a part of the local language in Cardiff as the “Oyster” card is in London. IFF is both a pre-payment card, and a season ticket, and it is good to be able to report that having the right change will now be a problem of the past for most of our customers”.
Cardiff Council’s Executive Member for Transport, Delme Bowen, says:
“Cardiff Bus is owned by the people of Cardiff, and that has brought many benefits. The company was one of the first bus operators in the UK to introduce a fleet that is fully easy access/low floor – some seven years ahead of the 2016 deadline. It has invested heavily in environmentally friendly modern engines and systems. It has pioneered new technology from TV on buses through to on-bus data recording, with all buses having high quality CCTV. 2010 saw the launch of Cardiff Bus on Twitter and Facebook – enabling instant communication with its customers. We are delighted to see this latest investment in new technology being extended to include smartcards.”
Deputy First Minister and Minister for Economy and Transport, Ieuan Wyn Jones, says:
“I am delighted to see the launch of this important initiative which is a positive development for Cardiff Bus and the thousands of public transport users it serves. This is the latest in a series of investments into the transport network in Cardiff and further proof that we are all committed to providing the best service possible for passengers.
“This is also an important milestone achievement for the Wales transport entitlement card project. The transition to ITSO enables the Welsh Assembly Government and all 22 local authorities to offer a more flexible transport system for our citizens, reducing costs, improving efficiency and offering travellers throughout Wales an improved travel experience.”
Cardiff Bus has sent out Iff information leaflets to 120,000 homes in Cardiff, and is encouraging people to send off free-of-charge for their Iff Card. For a limited time, applicants will receive £3 of free travel. A further 80,000 leaflets will be available on buses and from its customer service centre.