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Solent Transport 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, 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 app.

Solent Transport is a partnership of four local transport authorities covering the Isle of Wight, Hampshire County, Portsmouth, and Southampton.

Powered by Trafi, the Breeze app features a smart ticketing and payment solution, provided by Unicard, and ensures seamless travel across all modes of transport in the region.

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

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“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, which encourages transport authorities to sell rail tickets directly in their respective regions.”

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.

“Solent is one of the UK’s designated future transport zone (FTZ). 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 FTZ programme,” said Solent Transport Manager Conrad Haigh.

“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.”

In 2021, RDG announced plans to deploy Unicard’s cloud-hosted Host or Operator Processing System in order to adhere to the smart ticketing requirements of Train Operating Companies across the UK.