As part of its continued plans to modernise one of the most congested networks in the country, train operator Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has today announced that Southern and Gatwick Express passengers using its key smartcard are now being automatically compensated for delays of 15 minutes or more.
Getting a key smartcard is really easy. It's free, paperless and a speedy way to purchase tickets. It takes only a few minutes online to get one and it's delivered within 3-5 working days. Passengers can go to southernrailway.com/thekey to get theirs.
The automated compensation system uses complex algorithms after the passenger has tapped in and tapped out and will be able to tell if the journey made was delayed by 15 minutes or more. If that's the case, it will send an automatic claim to the passenger's online account. All the passenger has to do is to review the claim for accuracy and confirm the method of payment preferred.
Southern and Gatwick Express Passenger Services Director Angie Doll said: "Passengers have seen a significant improvement in Southern service levels but we still have more to do and when things go wrong on this, the most congested network in the UK, passengers deserve compensation.
“Now, with automatic Delay Repay it couldn't be quicker or simpler to get money back if you are delayed. All we ask you to do is use a key smartcard, available from our website."
Service levels on Southern have risen 15 percentage points in nine months with 85% of trains now arriving on time (public performance measure, 23 July 2017).
The automatic compensation claim system was first rolled out last month (July) to Thameslink and Great Northern. Now all passengers travelling with a smartcard on GTR routes can benefit within the area shown on this map.
To determine whether a claim can be made, the system uses data that comes from entry and exit taps at the station validators. It compares how long it has taken the passenger to complete the journey against how long the journey should have taken. Where there is a discrepancy, it looks to see whether there were any corresponding train delays or cancellations and if it finds a relevant delay of 15 minutes or more, a claim will be automatically created.
This method is complementary to the conventional Delay Repay claim process and does not replace it; claims for delays of 15 minutes or more can still be made as usual either online or by using a paper form available from stations.
The full range of tickets available on the key smartcard can be viewed here: http://www.southernrailway.com/tickets-and-fares/the-key-smartcard/