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  5. STAR system from Fujitsu improves customer service

Merseyrail first in country to go fully operational with advanced new ticketing system

STAR system from Fujitsu improves customer service

November 15, 2005

Merseyrail has become the first UK Train Operating Company to complete the roll out of STAR – an award-winning ticket issuing system from Fujitsu Services that helps station staff to improve customer service. The new system has been installed at all of Merseyrail’s 64 stations, which cater for 100,000 passengers carried on 600 train services run in the Liverpool area every week day.

STAR reduces paperwork and makes it easier for Merseyrail staff to offer the full range of rail products without having to refer to paper based manuals, allowing them to focus more of their time on customer service. Merseyrail has used STAR to replace the old ‘All Purpose Ticket Issuing System’ originally installed in the 1980’s.

Merseyrail is a joint venture between the Dutch public transport operator NedRailways and UK management services company Serco Integrated Transport. Since taking over the franchise in July 2003, Merseyrail has been working to improve the rail passenger experience in the Merseyside area. During its first year the focus was on improved punctuality and reliability. Having delivered on these targets, the emphasis has since been on station refurbishment. The installation of the STAR systems was a key part of this programme. The roll out programme was completed in only three months, making Merseyrail the first UK train operating company to pass on the benefits of the STAR system to its passengers.

Fujitsu provided a range of supporting services covering roll out, implementation and training. The company will also be providing helpdesk and application and equipment support in the future. Journey planning will be provided via the central Rail Journey Information Service (RJIS), which Fujitsu operates for the rail industry as a whole.

The contract is the result of a formal procurement under EU competition rules, including trials of the competing solutions. Merseyrail decided that STAR was best suited to their business requirements and offered the best value for money. Another attraction was that STAR is a retail system designed specifically for the rail industry and so allows Merseyrail to experiment with new ticket office formats in the future.

The successful roll out follows a recent accolade for Fujitsu in the 2005 Rail Industry Innovation Awards, where STAR was selected as the winner in the "Innovation in IT" category.

Lee Berry, retail projects manager for Merseyrail, said: “This new system will make life simple for our passengers and for our staff. It will be easy and quick to buy tickets and make seat reservation for any journey in the UK. We will be able to provide a much better service including journey information for any ticket bought. The times of having to look things up in paper manuals are finally over.”

Richard Dickson, account director for Fujitsu Services, said: “STAR is the premier rail retailing system for the 21st century. We are delighted to be working with Merseyrail, and look forward to helping them in their quest to enhance the passenger experience. Merseyrail is the third Train Operating Company to choose STAR, but the first to complete roll out. This is another major milestone in the STAR programme.”

Merseyrail

Merseyrail operates commuter rail services in the Liverpool area, carrying around 100,000 passengers on 600 train services every weekday. Merseyrail is an urban network of vital importance to the transport infrastructure of Liverpool and Merseyside. In view of the ongoing regeneration of the city and the anticipated developments related to the Cultural Capital of Europe award for 2008, rail will play a major role in the economic life of the region and be a vital part in the urban transport network which, thanks to the efforts of Merseytravel, is already “multi-modal” with combined tickets valid on trains, buses and ferries. Merseyrail is a unique concession in the UK as the role of the SRA has been delegated by Parliament to the Merseyside Public Transport Executive Merseytravel and the concession agreement is between the operator and Merseytravel. This gives much better local control by local people of local services. Another unique feature is the length of the concession which is 25 years from 20 July 2003 with review dates along the way. The concession is operated by Merseyrail Electrics (2002) Ltd, a 50/50 Joint Venture company between Serco and NedRailways. The new operator (branded Merseyrail) operates the Wirral Line and the Northern Line.

About Fujitsu Services

Fujitsu Services is one of the leading IT services companies in Europe, Middle East and Africa . It has an annual turnover of £1.74 billion, (€2.58 billion) employs 14,500 people and operates in over 20 countries. It designs, builds and operates IT systems and services for customers in the financial services, telecom, retail, utilities and government markets. Its core strength is the delivery of IT infrastructure management and outsourcing across desktop, networking and data centre environments, together with a full range of related services, from consulting through integration and deployment. Headquartered in London , Fujitsu Services is the European-centred IT services arm of the Fujitsu Group. The Fujitsu Group is a US$45 billion (€37 billion) leader in customer-focused IT systems and services for the global marketplace.

Steven Robinson

Phone: Phone: + 44 (0) 20 87590005
Fax: + 44 (0) 20 88973242
E-mail: E-mail: steven.robinson@harvard.co.uk
Company:Harvard Public Relations

Graham Goulden

Phone: Phone: + 44 (0) 1753 604736
Fax: + 44 (0) 1753 604669
E-mail: E-mail: graham.goulden@uk.fujitsu.com
Company:Fujitsu Services

Date: 15 November, 2005