Day: 19 June 2020

Response to the South Yorkshire Bus Review

TRAVELMASTER, the organisation responsible for the development and delivery of multi-operator integrated ticketing in South Yorkshire has welcomed the findings of the independent review into South Yorkshire’s bus services highlighting it as an area of ‘Good Practice’.

The independent review panel found that TravelMaster is…

“…regarded as a successful ticketing scheme, offering passengers good value for money”
“…one of the most advanced multi-modal integrated smart ticketing schemes in the UK outside of London”
“…a good example of public transport providers working collaboratively for the benefit of passengers”

…and has recommended that the region ‘Build on the success of the TravelMaster Scheme’


In response to the report published by the panel Matt Smallwood, TravelMaster’s Director & General Manager said:

“Since 2015 South Yorkshire’s operators have worked collaboratively through TravelMaster to provide passengers with low cost integrated tickets valid across all operators and all modes. I welcome the recognition of the scheme’s success by the independent review panel.

However, TravelMaster, and the transport providers that operate it, recognise and agree with the report’s findings on the complexity of the ticketing offer in the region. Together we are committed to simplifying this for passengers.

For example:

– We have reduced the TravelMaster range from over 140 complex ticketing products (in addition to single operator tickets) to just 9 simple zonal products each providing 1, 7, 28 durations by standard.

– We have reduced the premium passengers pay for flexibility by maintaining low prices through which operators have, so far as competition legislation and the declining marketplace allows, created a space wherein TravelMaster tickets offer a popular alternative for those seeking more flexibility than single operator products.

Whilst we have had to defer some activities due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic many of the ticketing recommendations made by the report are reassuringly linked to objectives we had already begun to explore.

For example:

– The TravelMaster Contactless & Pre-Purchase Strategy, which we are currently finalising, outlines how we could introduce multi-operator contactless capping to the region; using the technological system being developed by the national operator groups.

– The TravelMaster Zonal Review Programme, currently on hold, has seen us engage with University of Sheffield & Travel to Work Data in a review of our zonal structure to identify potential opportunities to provide better cross district validity.

– We have also recently begun technical testing for flexible (Carnet) ticket types, noted in the report, to potentially provide the same flexibility to passengers as they move away from a Monday-Friday routine.

As an organisation our principle objective is to sustainably provide simple, relevant and best value ticketing for the region.

As we move forward, we look forward to working with the Mayoral Combined Authority to collaboratively deliver the panel’s recommendation to build on the success of the TravelMaster scheme”.