2019 – Looking Back at Another Great Year

Our Director & General Manager Matt has rounded up TravelMaster’s achievements throughout 2019 and what we’ve delivered for our customers.


It’s the end of another great year and as we speed along into a new decade, I thought I’d take a moment and look back to what has been another great year for TravelMaster. I am grateful to all our customers and partners who have helped keep TravelMaster at the forefront of multi-operator transport ticketing.

In April we introduced our eCommerce system which gave passengers access to TravelMaster’s great range of flexible multi-modal and multi-operator smart tickets to buy online.

June saw us withdraw paper counterparts as all our tickets became fully smart.

Then in July we made it easier for young people to purchase discounted and flexible multi-modal and multi-operator tickets online. This meant young people in South Yorkshire could access discounted tickets anywhere and not just from Ticket Machines at Interchanges.

This was followed up in September by introducing the new enhanced Near-Field Communication (NFC) feature for iPhones. Passengers in South Yorkshire were among the first in the world to have the ability to load travel tickets to a smartcard through an iPhone. As a result, over 95% of smartphone users in South Yorkshire, across Apple and Android devices, can now buy flexible multi-operator transport tickets for the region at their own convenience and before they travel.

In November we launched our biggest campaign to date, the ‘Masters of Travel’ campaign to help promote TravelMaster’s great value ticketing to potential transport users and promote the convenience of off-vehicle purchase to existing customers. This saw adverts appear on 115 buses and 2 trams and will be followed into 2020 with video advertising on YouTube, radio adverts on local stations and extensive digital advertising through Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.

This was also followed by the redesigning of our standard smartcard. The design of the standard card had remained the same since 2014 and the launching of the ‘Masters of Travel’ campaign gave us a great opportunity to update the card and give it a refreshed look; one that we think is out of this world.

In December TravelMaster was shortlisted for the Global Transport Ticketing Awards in the 2020 Digital Champion category for our extensive eCommerce programme which has seen the rapid deployment of online sales, download apps and supporting infrastructure during 2019.

Also in December we released our new ticket pick-up feature which allows passengers to collect their online purchased tickets on board First and Stagecoach services. This is the latest feature to be added to TravelMaster’s already extensive retail channels and will help ensure all passengers can enjoy the convenience of purchasing their tickets before travelling.

2019 saw TravelMaster make many advancements and achievements including our recent announcement of advance purchase pricing. This will see many TravelMaster tickets frozen or subject to only a small increase in price on 2nd January if bought off-vehicle and to support this, we have invested heavily in developing and promoting our off-vehicle points of sale. This will ensure all passengers can still conveniently purchase their ticket for the lower price before they travel. This change will also help increase punctuality through reducing delays caused by the sale of tickets on board and TravelMaster ticket prices will continue to remain some of the lowest in the UK.

Looking into a new decade, I am incredibly excited for TravelMaster to keep on helping the region’s passengers travel conveniently and affordably throughout South Yorkshire.

I wish all our passengers and partners a wonderful Christmas, a happy New Year and a fantastic 2020!

Matt Smallwood 

Director & General Manager of TravelMaster