Latest Rail News

18.11.14

Merseytravel set to launch new Walrus smartcard

Merseytravel is set to roll out its long-delayed Walrus smartcard from 24 November.

The new card will see Saveaway – Merseytravel’s scratch-off, off-peak day ticket for buses, trains and ferries – go electric, becoming the first product on the Walrus smartcard.

In a staged roll-out, scratch-off Saveaways will be replaced with smartcard versions in Wirral from 24 November, with cards available across the rest of Merseyside by the end of March.

The tickets will be available from around 800 PayPoint outlets across Merseyside, more than doubling the current number of places people can buy Saveaways.

Merseytravel say Saveaway is just the start of its smart ticketing programme, with the next few years seeing a roll out of new ticket products and new ways to purchase them.

Cllr Liam Robinson, chair of Merseytravel, said: “Saveaway is just the start. We have to start somewhere. We were keen to get smart ticketing underway but we are taking a reasoned, incremental approach to it.

“The recommendations in the ticketing review will set the direction for where we go next. We want the products on the cards not just to be electronic versions of what already exists, as that’s not really adding value. We want to develop tickets fit for the modern traveller, ones that offer convenience, choice and flexibility in when and how they purchase travel.

“We’re thinking of the bigger picture and want to start taking our customers on a journey – a journey we have to take in order to have a world class network with services to match.”

For a limited period, up to April 2015, people will be able to get a smartcard for free on purchasing a Saveaway. From April onwards there will be a £1 activation charge for all new cards.

Due to the popularity of Saveaways, with around three million sold last year, it is anticipated that, in the next six months, Merseyside will be one of the top regions outside London, in terms of smart ticketing transactions.

(Image: c. Merseytravel)

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