Plans for £10m 'tap-and-go' ticketing system to 'revolutionise' public transport across Liverpool
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Almost £10m is to be invested in the development of a new tap-and-go system, allowing contactless and mobile payments when travelling around Merseyside.
The plans are expected to 'revolutionise' the Liverpool City Region's public transport network, with Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram stating the current ticketing system is 'is no longer equipped to meet the demands of a growing 21st century city region like ours'.
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 ticketing system.
Currently, even when purchasing tickets through the Trainline app, which offers mobile e-tickets, Merseyrail tickets are only available as printed copies, and many stations do not have self-service ticket machines available for printing.
Mayor Rotheram said: “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.”
Under the planned improvements, people will be able to use the same card or ticket when travelling on buses, trains or ferries across the Liverpool City Region. The smart ticketing plans are expected to include the ability to pay by contactless bank card or mobile payment, an app for buying and using tickets and fare capping.
The city region’s smart ticketing programme has already seen the introduction of the MetroCard, a smart card for public transport that is able to have a range of products loaded onto it, and the Merseyrail RailPass.
The new tap-and-go idea is welcomed by local residents, with many discussing the plans on Reddit.
- One user said: "This is great news and just makes traveling a lot easier. It's not right that you have to wait in line to buy a ticket when you have technology. Not being able to use e-tickets bought on Trainline is also ridiculous."
- Another agreed, adding: "Got fined for that because I didn't print it out at the ticket office because the queue was a mile long and I assumed I'd paid. It's so out of touch with the modern world, so this is welcome!
- And another added: "I moved to Liverpool recently and couldn't believe the lack of ticket machines. Moorfields has one! A single ticket machine for a central city station. James Street doesn't have any. Just absolutely bizarre."