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Smart ticketing launched for Manchester

TfGM has introduced a new smart ticketing system for Manchester, to be known as the ‘get me there’ scheme. It will cover Metrolink trams, buses and rail services with roll-out beginning next year.

The name has already proved controversial in the local press, but chair of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee, Cllr Andrew Fender, called it “one of the most exciting developments in public transport in Greater Manchester in many years”.

He said: “It will revolutionise the way that people pay for their transport needs, and will help to remove many of the barriers that get in the way of people making best use of our buses, trains and trams.

“With more than 30 independent, commercial bus operators, a tram network and several inter-regional rail operators running public transport services across and into the region, our smart ticketing scheme will be one of the most advanced of its type in the world.

“But we want it to be as simple as possible for people at the point of use – hence a name that says ‘what it does on the tin’.

“London may have its Oyster and Liverpool its Walrus, but we like to embrace the challenge of doing things differently here, which is why we have chosen a different kind of name with get me there.”

There will be a dedicated card available, but passengers can also use existing TfGM concessionary photo cards, contactless bank cards, and in the future smart phones.

Cllr Fender added: “The technology behind get me there is being built to be as flexible as possible to accommodate any future devices – even the ones we don’t know about yet.”

Richard Soper, First Group’s strategic development director for the North of England and chair of GMTL, said: “We have all learned a great deal from System One, the range of paper tickets we currently promote that allow passengers to switch between different modes of travel and different operators. We have therefore been working very closely with TfGM on the details of the new scheme and also on the scheme name.

“We wanted something that helps customers understand what the scheme does and how they will be able to use it and get me there does just that. It will give everyone greater choice and greater flexibility in their travel options, as well as making it easier to purchase and use multimodal tickets.”

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