Question: When does Southern’s smartcard – the key – also become the key to a Toyota Prius?

Answer: When it’s used to join Co-wheels car club as part of Southern’s ‘keybenefits’ package

Following the recent installation of an electric vehicle charging point at Lewes station in West Sussex, Southern, in partnership with Co-wheels car club and Toyota, has unveiled a Toyota Prius hybrid car at the station for car club members to use.

Southern passengers who hold Southern’s smartcard, the key, will be able use it to join Co-wheels for £1, instead of the usual fee of £25. They can even use their key card to enter and start the vehicle

This is the first time that an electric hybrid car club vehicle has been located at a railway station and Toyota has provided the car for a three-month trial period.

Norman Baker, the former transport minister and Lewes MP, formally launched the initiative at the station. “This is an excellent scheme that offers greener transport through the use of both low emission vehicles and car sharing,” he said. “I am sure that projects like this and those that will inevitably follow will benefit local residents whilst preserving the wider natural environment.”

Southern’s head of retail development Riz Wahid said: “This is a match made in heaven. One of our abiding aims is to encourage people to travel to and from our stations in a more sustainable way. Now that the car is here, it makes complete sense for our passengers to be able to use their key card to travel on our services and to drive away one of the greenest cars on the planet.”

To deliver this project, Govia-owned Southern has also partnered with Elektromotive, Lewes District Council and eV South East Network.


This article (and many, many more) appears in the latest issue of Passenger Transport.

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