theKey to your city

TheKey travel smartcard is a great way of buying bus tickets for travel on bluestar and unilink buses in and around Southampton and South Hampshire. You can top-up your key with tickets safely & securely online. It only takes 3 hours for your online travel ticket to load and then your key is ready for use on the bus. You can also top-up your key on the bus and at the bluestar travel shop.


how theKey works

Follow the steps below to get your key, load bus tickets and travel! 

  1. order your key online here
  2. allow 2 working days for your key to arrive in the post 
  3. login online and purchase your bus tickets
  4. wait 3 hours for your online bus ticket to load onto theKey
  5. hold theKey for 5 seconds on the ticket machine to activate, anytime thereafter just wait for the green light!
  6. enjoy travelling & saving with theKey!


tickets available on theKey 

Start saving today. Take a look at bus ticket prices on theKey.

view dayrider bus ticket prices on theKey here

view period ticket bus prices on theKey here


already got a key 

Register your details to your key, so that you can top-up online. Registering your key also insures that should you lose your key we can transfer any remaining bus tickets onto a replacement key.

register a key +


keep me - don't bin me!

Please look after your key and don’t throw it away. You can use the same key card time and time again. Your first key is free, but you may be charged up to £5 for every additional card.


key benefits

At bluestar we are always looking for ways to give you more than just a bus service, so we've teamed up with local companies to give you exclusive discounts on provision of your key.


take a look at your key benefits: 


La Fenice

10% off the A La Carte menu

Hop on any of our Eastleigh bound buses including the bluestar 4, bluestar 5 & U1N to La Fenice, where you'll receive 10% off the a la carte menu.


10% off evening menu

Fancy a meal with a difference? Book your place at Aspire restaurant, which is run by City College, Southampton's Hospitality & Catering students. Take any of our Southampton city centre bound buses, and walk the short distance to Chapel Road.

La Tavernetta

20% off the bill

Looking for contemporay Italian cuisine set in a relaxed environment? Then La Tavernetta is for you. Take any of our Southampton city bound buses, and walk the short distance to Civic Centre Road. (This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer).


10% off

Visiting Mayflower Theatre? Why not go for pre-theatre dining at Caffexpresso, which is just 2 minutes walk away at Nelson Gate, Frobisher House. Caffexpresso is a vibrant bistro that is also great for after work get togethers and special meals for two.

Street Food Soul Cellar

10% off food & drink

Situated in the idependent music venue Sould Cellar, Street Food is the place to go for adventurous food from around the globe. Get to Street Food, Soul Cellar on any of our Southampton city centre bound buses, and receive 10% off food and drink (this cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer).

Nuffield Kitchen

10% off food & drink

If you're going to be watching a show at the Nuffield Theatre, why not grab a bite to eat at the Nuffield Kitchen. Get dropped outside of the Nuffield on any unilink bus.

the Chapter House

15% off A La Carte menu Sunday evening - Thursday

15% off of hotel rooms when booked via this telephone number: 01722 412028

Fancy going further afield? Catch the X7 to Salisbury for dining & rooms at the Chapter House, 9-13 John Street, Salisbu

Southampton Trophies & Engraving

15% discount

This is the place to go in Southampton for engraving and key cutting. 122a Shirley Road. Get to Shirley on the bluestar 4 or bluestar 18.

kudos hair & beauty

10% off hair & beauty treatments

Pamper yourself with a wide range of beauty treatments available at hair & beauty, bought to you by the students of City College, Southampton.

New Forest Activities Booking Centre

10% off activities

Want an adventure filled day out in the New Forest? Get down to New Forest Activities Booking Centre, they'll help you arrange action packed fun and you'll receive 10% off activites with your key. 

 If you're a company and interested in becoming a key benefits partner find out more here







the key 

the key is our smartcard that allows you to buy travel in advance online.


 find out more +


mobile app

buy tickets on the Clickit2Ride mobile app - buy, show and go!

find out more +