Unicard News
Solent Transport accredited to sell rail tickets through its Breeze app by Unicard
Solent Future Transport Zone becomes the first to offer rail ticketing powered by Unicard’s Rail Suite platform
March 7th 2023 by Unicard

Today, Solent Transport, a partnership of four local transport authorities covering the Isle of Wight, Hampshire County, Portsmouth and Southampton, announced that it has become the first UK local transport authority with accreditation to retail rail tickets through its multi-modal Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) offering. This is thanks to its partnership with Unicard Ltd, an established provider of smart ticketing and payment solutions to the public and commercial transport sector. Unicard’s Rail Suite platform, designed to support rail accreditation, has enabled Solent Transport to sell rail tickets through its Breeze travel app.

In 2021, in line with its Future Transport Zone (FTZ) programme, Solent Transport appointed Unicard as part of a consortium to develop a MaaS-powered app that would make travel in the region easier and more accessible. Powered by Trafi, Solent Transport’s Breeze app features a smart ticketing and payment solution provided by Unicard and ensures seamless travel across all forms of transport in the region.

Today, with the additional capabilities provided by Unicard’s Rail Suite platform, Solent Transport can retail rail tickets through the Breeze app. Unicard’s Rail Suite effectively manages the complex data integrations and certifications required for the app to interface with the back-office systems of the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), the body responsible for selling and issuing tickets for travel. In addition, Unicard provides the support necessary to ensure Solent Transport meets all the standards required for accreditation by RDG to sell rail tickets, including customer care, aftersales and financial reconciliation. 

Sean Dickinson, CEO of Unicard, explained: “The addition of rail accreditation to the Breeze app marks a significant milestone in our long-standing relationship with Solent Transport. Unicard work with local authorities throughout the UK to deliver smart ticketing solutions that meet with their changing transport requirements. On this occasion we were able to draw on our considerable experience and expertise in the rail sector.

“Rail accreditation is yet another component that local authorities can add to their transport offerings. It’s in line with the UK Government’s Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail that encourages transport authorities to sell rail tickets directly in their respective regions. Our rail products are designed to remove the barriers to entry for local authorities looking to offer those types of services. We’re able to speed up the process so that new rail accreditation services can be rolled out much faster.”

Conrad Haigh, Solent Transport Manager, added: “Solent is one of the UK’s designated FTZs. We have plans to transform access to public transport services in the region with the help of our new Breeze app, developed as a central part of the FTZ programme.

“We are now taking that vision a step further, having achieved rail accreditation as an agent. Solent Transport is proud to deliver rail ticketing for a UK MaaS product, and there is still more to come with new products being introduced to the app regularly, as we look to support customers in accessing all forms of transport and travel within our region. Unicard have played a key role in helping us to provide ticketing services that meet the needs of  transport providers across the region.”

About Solent Transport

Solent Transport is changing the way the public travels in the Solent area, making it greener, healthier and economically stronger than it’s ever been before. Through the delivery of transport solutions, Solent Transport provides leadership, strategy and direction to support sustainable economic growth in the Solent area. Originally established in 2007, Solent Transport is a partnership between the councils of the Isle of Wight, Hampshire County, Portsmouth and Southampton. In collaboration with the local community, business, government and transport operators, Solent Transport undertakes research; develops transport policy and strategy; submits and supports funding bids; and lobbies for transport improvements that will benefit everyone.

About the Solent Future Transport Zone

Solent Transport won £29m from the Department for Transport (DfT) to implement innovative future transport solutions around personal mobility and freight movements. The funding means the Solent area will benefit from several innovative transport solutions including: smartphone apps for planning and paying for sustainable journeys demand, e-bike share scheme, and new approaches to freight distribution, including drone freight trials for NHS deliveries across the Solent to the Isle of Wight. Funding will be allocated to different projects across the region. The Solent Future Transport Zone programme proposes to address local challenges such as high levels of car usage and the environmental impacts of freight movement within Solent’s urban areas. It will do this by delivering a series of complementary projects within two key themes: Personal Mobility and Sustainable Urban Logistics.

About Unicard

As the leading provider of software solutions for public and private sector transport management and smart ticketing, for nearly 20 years Unicard have been trusted by millions of passengers to get them where they need to be. Today, our solutions can be found throughout the UK, processing over four billion transactions a year.