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18.11.13

Smart ticketing roll-out begins for trams and rail in Manchester

More than 350 new smart readers have been installed across the Metrolink tram network in Greater Manchester, forming the first steps of the roll-out of Transport for Greater Manchester’s (TfGM’s) ITSO-compliant smart ticketing system, ‘get me there’. It is being rolled out across the light rail Metrolink network next year, and on heavy rail services by 2017.

TfGM committee chair Cllr Andrew Fender said: “Smart ticketing has the potential to transform the passenger experience and is as significant a development for public transport in Greater Manchester as the building of Metrolink was back in 1992. We’ll be rolling out the scheme in phases during 2014, making sure that different customer groups get used to it. Travelling with get me there will feel a bit different to start with, but we’re confident passengers will quickly recognise it’s a much easier and hassle-free way of using public transport.”

The new smart cards will allow passengers to buy travel credit for individual journeys, and new-style, better value travelcards. Later in 2014, contactless ‘wave and pay’ bank cards will be accepted, with customers touching in and touching out, similar to the scheme being implemented by TfL on the Tube network – although the Metrolink network is not gated.

TfGM said: “If you are using a contactless bank card, the cost of all your journeys on Metrolink during the course of the day will be totted up by get me there. The total amount will then be deducted from your bank account overnight, making sure that you are never charged more than the all zones 1-day travelcard fare.”

Over half a million Greater Manchester commuters already have get me there-ready smart cards: their over-60s bus passes or under-16s igo passes.  The over-60s pass holders will be the first to start using their cards on Metrolink, when the first phase of the rollout starts in spring next year.

TfGM is encouraging people to pre-register their interest in the scheme at www.getmethere.com

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

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