Encoding of ticket information into a barcode has been achieved by Metric Parking to meet the rail specification of South West Trains, a franchise of Stagecoach.
The barcode provides an additional level of security and checking can be performed using barcode readers on mobile devices.

The barcode functionality adds to the extensive list of features on Metrics Aura which has been ordered by South West Trains for five of their unmanned stations.

Without a rail ticket office at Millbrook, Redbridge, Holton Heath and Beaulieu Road on the Southampton to Weymouth line, and Longcross between Ascot and Staines, customers of South West Trains have the ability to purchase a permit to travel ticket from the Aura which then entitles them to board a train.

The permit to travel ticket shows details of the station of issue, date and time issued, the amount paid and the conditions of use. A permit to travel ticket must be exchanged for a proper travel ticket within two hours of purchase.

Inspectors check tickets of customers travelling and any passenger not having a ticket or a permit to travel ticket is subject to a penalty charge. South West Trains say a permit to travel ticket is not an alternative to proper rail tickets.

Said Sandy Mace, Metrics development and systems manager, who developed the barcode solution on the tickets: In addition to the normal ticket printing requirements for PERTIS, Metric were asked if they could come up with such a barcode functionality.

With the latest Aura software this has been possible and the encoding of ticket information into a barcode has been achieved, meeting the necessary rail specification.

The permit to travel issuing system (PERTIS) for stations which dont have a rail ticket office has been running for many years on Metrics Autoslot machines. From November this system continues with the Metric Aura.

Said Rod Tee, ticket systems analyst of South West Trains: The five locations where we have installed the new Metric Aura are extremely quiet and dont justify a ticket office.

People who buy a permit to travel from the coin only PERTIS machine can put five pence upwards in the machine although we ask for the amount which is as near to the full fare as possible. The ticket is a valid permit to travel but has to be exchanged for a proper ticket within two hours.

In the franchise for the network we had to put in state of the art PERTIS machines with touch screens.

Metric has provided PERTIS machines in the past and the new generation has the advantage of printing on barcodes.

The difference with the latest machine is it enables us to scan the ticket into our ticket issuing system, ticket office and our on-train ticketing system as well.

We shall get more accurate data entry and there is less possibility of errors occurring.

The tickets have a pre-printed watermark background generated by Bemrose Booth and tested by Metric. Audit tickets for the PERTIS maintenance and operation have been added.
Metric Group Limited
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