Conductors will not be able to sell you a ticket to load onto your smartcard on the train. They will however be able to check the key to confirm that the ticket products you have already purchased are valid.
Break of journey functionality is not currently available on the key, therefore you will not be able to touch in or touch out on the ticket gates at a station on route.
You will need to show your key card to the gate-line staff to let you out if you need to exit or re-enter at one of the stations along your line of route. For example, if you have a season ticket valid from Lewes to Brighton, you will need to show your key card to the gateline staff at Falmer if you need to exit the station.
Yes. An application form will be available from the ticket office or by calling Customer Services on 08451 27 29 20. A card issued without an online registration will mean tickets can only be purchased directly from the self service ticket machines.
No, currently the Brighton & Hove smartcard will not be valid on our Southern trains nor will our Southern smartcard be valid on buses. However Plusbus in the Brighton and Crawley areas is available if you wish to add a weekly bus ticket on to your Southern key card.
We will be working towards this during 2013 and will provide further information on this website as to when this will be available.
Yes everyone must touch in and out to ensure that their journey has been ‘validated’.
This will give us a better understanding of the types of journeys people make and when they make them so we can be better at tailoring ticket products for individual travellers.
You can buy tickets through your online account at southernrailway.com/thekey, via Southern’s online ticket sales or at a self-service ticket machine.
You can then ‘load’ your ticket at a station by touching the key onto a smartcard reader positioned on the ticket gateline or on station validators. You should allow two hours between buying a ticket online and seeking to load it onto the key at a station.
You can view our online FAQs to give you all the information you need about our new key smartcard or call our Southern Customer Services team on 08451 27 29 20, or email firstname.lastname@example.org/thekey, for more information.
The key can currently be used at all outer London stations (outside London fares zones 1-6), on the Southern network, excluding stations between Epsom and Dorking which will be coming soon (see ‘Where can I use the key?’ for a list of all stations). The online process for getting the key will be as follows:
Go to southernrailway.com/thekey and complete the online application form. If you are already registered with Southern’s online ticket sales, you can simply login and follow the instructions to apply for the key. the same login will automatically be used
Your details will be processed and the key will be posted to you automatically. You should receive this within 3 – 5 working days
A confirmation email with details of your online account will be sent to you
When you receive the key, you can then log in to your online account and purchase the season ticket you require
If you do not have online access, an application form can be obtained from a Southern ticket office along the key enabled route.
Refunds on season tickets are calculated from the date the refund was applied for. Your season must have at least 7 days remaining on a monthly or longer season and at least 3 days for a seven day season to be eligible.
Refunds are not calculated on a pro rata basis and in some cases the residual value less a £10 administration fee may result in no refund being payable.
The key works through contact with smartcard readers positioned on ticket gates, self service ticket machines (TVMs) or validators at stations. The steps for this are below:
Once you have registered and received the card in the post, tickets can be purchased online at southernrailway.com/thekey , or at the station via the self service ticket machines
Tickets booked online can be loaded onto the card by touching against the smartcard readers located on the ticket gates or validators at the nominated station. Simply hold the key onto the yellow hand on the smartcard reader for a few seconds. The message on the validator will read ‘adding product’ and then ‘journey started’
Please Note: If touching against the smartcard reader on the ticket gates or validators, this will also start your journey ie. the ticket gates will open to allow you through
If you are buying a ticket at the TVM, hold the key to the reader, select the ticket you wish to purchase, pay for it, and hold the key to the reader again. Once the ticket is loaded onto the card, simply touch your card against the smartcard reader located on the ticket gates or validator to begin your journey. Instructions will be provided on screen
Simply ‘touch out’ at the end of your journey by placing the key on the reader on the ticket gates or validator when you exit a station. A message will be displayed to show your journey has ended with a green light and an audible beep.You do not need to take the key out of your wallet (if you use one) when you touch the smartcard reader. It is a ‘contactless’ card
NB: Please do not have the key and your Oystercard in the same wallet when touching in/out; this will confuse the reader as to which card to read.
The key will cost you nothing, and no deposit is required. However, if you lose a registered card there may be a fee for replacement. If a crime reference is produced for a lost or stolen card there will be no fee applied for a replacement card.
For your safety and assurance, our payment systems are market leading; counter fraud services and encryption technology keep your payments secure. The personal information we hold in relation to your key, including your online key account, is protected using the latest encryption technology and is in line with the latest data protection law making sure your information is secure.
No, key cards are not transferable and are only valid for use by the person who’s name is on the card and for whom the card has been registered to. If someone else tries to use your key it will be confiscated and both the person to whom it was issued and the person to whom it was transferred or attempted to be transferred will be liable to prosecution.
Weekly and monthly PlusBus tickets can be purchased on your key for the Crawley and Brighton areas (excluding Newhaven and Seaford stations).
You can buy PlusBus tickets in the following ways:
Weekly – From the Self Service Machine at the same time as your weekly ticket. Just push the ‘Add PlusBus’ button before you confirm your order
Monthly – By calling Customer Services on 08451 27 29 20 from Monday – Friday, between 9 and 5. Please note that you must have bought a monthly ticket online prior to calling
Customers with a monthly rail ticket can also buy weekly PlusBus tickets during the course of the month in this way
The key is based on the national specification for smartcards which is ‘ITSO’; Oyster cards are not currently compatible with this system. However, the Department for Transport and Transport for London are working to ensure that Oyster readers are compatible with ITSO in the future so that the key will work across the London Underground network.
Yes,the categories are – adult, child, and Southern staff passes.
Where the key is for an adult who wishes to buy monthly or longer season tickets or for a child, a photo will be required to load onto the card and the card will not be transferrable to another passenger.
A card which is only used to purchase weekly season tickets will not require a photo and will therefore be transferable.
Go to your online account at southernrailway.com/thekey, or contact the Southern customer services team on 08451 27 29 20 or see staff at one of our Tickets Offices along the route to let us know so that your smartcard can be ‘cancelled’ and a new card can be issued within 24hrs. You will then receive this within 3 – 5 working days.
Go to your online account at southernrailway.com/thekey to update your details or contact the Southern Customer Services team on 08451 27 29 20, or email thekeycomments@southernrailway. A new card will be required for any changes to name or photo and this can be requested at the same time.
The key is a reusable smartcard which can have various types of ticket, including season tickets, added again and again.
The key is based on ITSO (www.itso.org.uk) which is a Government backed specification and is being used across the country’s public transport for all future smartcard schemes. With all transport providers using the same ticketing system, integrated transport will be easier to promote with the potential for operators to link up and provide more multi-modal ticket products.
The key is similar in nature to London’s Oyster card. You hold it against a smartcard reader to ‘touch in’ and ‘touch out’, accessing the network through ticket gates or via the validators at stations.
The smartcards will evolve over time with many possibilities for the future. For example, they could be used in the future to hold car park tickets or indeed to hold ‘cash’ which could be used at station or train retail outlets making the overall journey more straightforward for the passenger.
Following the pilot we needed time to refine the system before rolling out the key to other parts of the network. The timescales for this depended on feedback and analysis as we want to make sure that any teething troubles were fixed before making the key available to more people. The plan is to continue to roll out along the coast and continue up into London for all stations to be completed by the end of 2013.
Smartcard readers are located on all Southern Ticket Gates. Validator Posts are also available at all stations and are positioned at the entrance/exit to the station, including those used when ticket offices are closed.
You will need to touch in and touch out on the smartcard readers located on the Ticket Gates or Validator Posts at the start and the end of your journey.
If you lose your key or there is a query with your key we want to make sure that we can get any unused tickets back to you or that you can talk to us about your key.
Information we collect from you includes, title (Mr/Mrs/Ms/Miss etc), first name, and surname, address, telephone number, email address, date of birth and gender.
If you have ticked the relevant box on the application form, we may also contact you to keep you updated with information about other Go-Ahead group services and also to inform you of special offers and other related products and services from Go-Ahead Group Companies. You can opt out from receiving emails, by logging into your account at southernrailway.com/thekey and changing your preferences.
The key is being rolled out along the Southern network in a phased approach until the end of 2013 to help with testing and implementation. A pilot for testing was conducted on the route between Brighton and Seaford. This route was chosen because:
We were the only train operator on this section of the route which meant we could test it ourselves before expecting other train operators to become involved
There was a good diversity of passengers in this area with students, season ticket holders and leisure travellers
Linking to Brighton helped start an early understanding of how we might operate our multi modal scheme with Brighton & Hove buses
There is logic in starting on the coast and working up towards London. This is principally as we must wait for London’s Oyster style ticket gates to accept our style of smartcard which is likely to happen by the end of December 2013
If you wish to purchase tickets online, the key will need to be registered to an individual user which will require a unique email address. An application form is available if an online account is not required and a smartcard can be issued for ticket purchases from a self service ticket machine only. To request an application form please ask at a Southern ticket office or call Customer Services on 08451 27 29 20.
Yes, a birth certificate, medical certificate or passport will need to be provided as proof of age for a child smartcard.
Once an online application is completed the authorisation of a child smartcard must be finalised at a Southern ticket office where the birth certificate, medical certificate or passport can be checked. Once verification has taken place, the child card will then be posted direct to the address provided on application.
Please ensure that adequate time provision is made for the authorisation of a child smartcard prior to any required ticket purchase or travel.