Plans for £10m tap-and-go payment system for public transport

Almost £10m is to be invested to develop a new tap-and-go ticketing system for public transport across the Liverpool City Region.

The £9.86m investment, approved at a meeting of the region’s Combined Authority, will deliver on the Mayor’s ambition to build an integrated London-style transport network with a simplified, cheaper ticketing system.

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram described the cash injection as “not before time.”

Under the planned development, it is hoped commuters will be able to use the same card or ticket when travelling on buses, trains, or ferries.

The grant funding is being released from the Strategic Investment Fund’s ‘City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement’ (CRSTS). The financing will enable the future ability to introduce fare capping – ensuring that passengers always pay the cheapest possible fare.

As well as the introduction of a specialist app, an increased range of products would be incorporated across the MetroSmart Portal and additional tickets added to the MetroCard.

Metro Mayor Mr Rotheram said, “Travelling on public transport should be simple, especially when it comes to how people pay for their journey. Yet, the reality is that our current ticketing system is no longer equipped to meet the demands of a growing 21st century city region like ours.

“I understand people’s frustrations about the current system and that’s why we’ve been working towards introducing a more simplified ticketing structure, but increasing public demand has meant that we’re now accelerating our plans.

“By upgrading our current paper ticketing with a new and improved smart system, we can make it easier and quicker for people to get from A to B.

“The tap-and-go, contactless ticketing system I want to introduce will unlock so many benefits for our region, removing the need for unnecessary queues, and ensure that no one spends more than they need to get around our region. London shows how it can work well – and I want to build a similar system in our area that makes ticketing easier, quicker and cheaper and, most importantly, works in favour of passengers, not profit.”

Among the changes would include the introduction of dynamic QR codes as a new ticket type across the network, potentially for Tap & Go travel and replacement of paper day tickets. Card virtualisation could also eventually remove the need for plastic cards.

A date has not yet been set for the introduction of the scheme.

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