Unicard are launching our first rollout of a new product designed to help Ukrainian refugees in the UK to take advantage of free or discounted public transport.
The Refugee Add-On is an extension for Unicard’s market-leading HOPS and Customer Management System (CMS). The first customer will be Nottinghamshire County Council, who intend to use it on local bus services.
Unicard already provide the smart ticketing infrastructure which manages all aspects of the council’s English National Concessionary Travel Scheme (ENCTS) for elderly and disabled residents across the region.
The Refugee Add-On will extend that scheme to Ukrainian nationals (families and individuals) who have been welcomed to the UK as guests since the start of the war in Ukraine.
Our new product integrates easily with existing ENCTS workflows to simplify the validation and issuance of travel cards and ensure there is no technological barriers to getting the scheme up and running.
Thanks to the flexibility of the Unicard platform, the Refugee Add-On can be up and running in just weeks for our existing customers – a major benefit when considering the urgency of the need to address the arrival of refugees from Ukraine.
Unicard can also provide this solution to new customers who don't already have a Unicard HOPS and CMS, using our cloud-native managed service.
Although other local authorities have schemes which offer free or discounted travel to refugees, these schemes often require passengers to show their passport as proof of identity when they board a bus, which some find embarrassing. However, the Unicard solution avoids this by enabling refugee scheme passengers to use a travel smartcard, just like any other passenger.
Unicard’s solution also offers the flexibility to widen the concessionary scheme further to, for example, war veterans, jobseeksers, and those with hybrid working arrangements where they might only need to travel to an office on certain days of the week.
Unicard already support a Veterans Concessionary Travel Scheme in Scotland, as part of our work with Transport Scotland.
If you're part of a Local Authority looking to find out more about extending your concessionary service with our new product to help our Ukrainian friends, or simply interested in what we have to offer, get in touch at the link below. We will also be demonstrating the new product at our stand at the Transport Ticketing Global event at Olympia London on June 28-29, 2022.