Case study: Nottinghamshire County Council CMS

The challenge

Nottinghamshire County Council wanted a framework for a smart ticketing platform that allowed members of the public to use contactless smartcards for bus travel.

The platform had to support both concessionary passes for elderly and disabled residents, and paid-for travel passes.

Following a competitive procurement process, the council chose Unicard to supply the framework. This includes Unicard’s HOPS, Customer Management System (CMS) and Concessionary Portal (CCRS).

Project requirements

The framework would be used by the council, but they also wanted it to be made available to other local authorities if required.

This framework had to include:

  • A CMS to hold all relevant customer details
  • A HOPS with Asset Management System (AMS) to carry out the back-end functions of recording transactions
  • An internet portal for customers to apply for cards, renew them and request replacement cards

The CMS, HOPS and portal all had to be capable of supporting the council’s existing English National Concessionary Travel Scheme (ENCTS) cards, and also support any commercial products added in the future.

Project solution

Unicard provided Nottinghamshire County Council with a suite of fully hosted and managed solutions covering transport data management, integration and payments.

These integrated solutions allow the council to manage all aspects of their ENCTS concessionary travel card scheme for elderly and disabled residents across the region. The provided solutions include Unicard’s HOPS, CMS and Concessionary Portal (CCRS).

Unicard’s CMS is a web-based solution that enables the council to manage all aspects of their concessionary travel cards, from cardholder registration to card production:

  • Once a smart card application has been processed, the new requests are sent automatically via the CMS to a local printing bureau for final production
  • Smart cards are then fulfilled and delivered to the cardholder’s address
  • The CMS allows ongoing management of the concession entitlement and associated cards

The CMS is being fully integrated with the Nottinghamshire customer-facing website (CCRS), which is tailored for concessionary travel schemes. The site has been designed to be simple and intuitive to navigate, ensuring that elderly and disabled users can complete applications for travel smartcards online in a few easy steps, with assistance available if required. However, both the CMS and CCRS systems can also be used by council staff to process smartcard applications on a resident’s behalf if necessary. This process ensures that all residents who qualify for concessionary travel can access the services to which they are entitled.

The Unicard HOPS supports the full range of ITSO smart ticketing schemes, and processes and validates concessionary fares and customer journeys. Nottinghamshire County Council can use the HOPS to access transaction and travel data in real time to support passengers or reconcile fares with local bus operators, in line with the ENCTS.

“It was important that we were able to work with a partner that could deliver a service that can be easily accessed online and through traditional channels. Unicard provided the County Council with a set of integrated solutions that manage passenger data and transactions, and also deliver a consistent and high-quality user experience.”

Dave Bennett

Concessions & Ticketing Officer, Nottinghamshire County Council

Key outcomes

The Nottinghamshire framework demonstrates the success of Unicard’s solution and its flexibility, and Nottinghamshire County Council is proud to stand behind it.

The council’s Dave Bennett said the solution has produced numerous benefits for them, including:

  • A competitively priced/value-for-money framework for a smart ticketing platform
  • A modern, adaptable and flexible platform that has a clear defined path to integrate future ticketing initiatives
  • The delivery of a modern portal providing a full range of services to all customers while ensuring that accessibility requirements are met
  • The full integration of the complete solution to minimise the potential for system errors
  • The positive business outcomes arising from the solution and its benefits
  • Cost savings
  • A clear and smooth customer journey
  • Ease of delivery, service and support
  • The opportunity to engage in a positive working relationship with Unicard, a “can-do” and forward-thinking supplier

“Unicard have an excellent track record of working with local authorities throughout the United Kingdom. We are delighted and proud to be providing Nottinghamshire with a fully hosted and managed infrastructure that supports all of their ENCTS requirements.”

Sean Dickinson

CEO, Unicard

Customer background

Nottinghamshire County Council oversees the transport needs of a large, diverse county covering 805 square miles. Outside the suburbs surrounding the City of Nottingham, the main towns are Mansfield, Sutton-in-Ashfield, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Newark-on-Trent, Worksop and Retford.

About a third of the county’s population live in rural areas, where ensuring that services are accessible can be challenging.

At the time of the tender, the council had more than 160,000 ENCTS cards in circulation.

About Unicard

Unicard have vast experience and a strong heritage in smart ticketing and payments for concessionary and smart travel schemes. Our smart ticketing solutions have been adopted by more than 60 local and regional authorities.