Manchester has enjoyed a fruitful Metrolink service, since its initial launch in July 2019, seeing millions of contactless journeys being made across the city. This pay-as-you-go contactless system has recently achieved a major milestone, following one of the busiest weekends in Greater Manchester’s transport history.
Saturday 11th June saw a historic moment as the record number was reached, in a week that saw a plethora of high-profile events across Manchester such as the Park Life music festival. This event, accompanied with a recent Ed Sheeran concert drew in an estimated 400,000 music-lovers to the region to see some of the biggest musical acts in the world perform.
Throughout the weekend of the 11th&12th, record numbers were recorded of customers using Metrolink with a total of 211,900 journeys being undertaken on the network. Around 82,000 of these journeys have been made using the contactless payment system, highlighting the efficacy and popularity of the system within the city.
The high numbers of service usages came as no surprise to the Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), as they collaborated with the police, transport operators and other partner agencies to ensure services ran smoothly. These collaborative parties ensured plenty of staff were present across the network and boosted services as much as possible to help people keep moving. Accompanying this, a 24/7 control room was utilised to continuously monitor the network and ensure safety of passengers.
Danny Vaughan, Head of Metrolink for Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), said:
“Since its launch, contactless travel has continued to grow in popularity. Approximately 150,000 contactless journeys are made every week - and growing – and, as shown over the last week, it really is the quickest and easiest way to get to the many great events and attractions the city-region has to offer.
“Contactless works out the best fare for you and guarantees the best value, just remember to touch-in and touch-out at the start and end of each journey, using the same card or device, and you’ll never pay more than the daily or weekly cap.
“By making tram travel easier, more flexible and providing value for money for our residents and visitors, contactless travel has been a real game-changer for Metrolink customers.”
The touch in/touch out system proved greatly beneficial in the maintenance of such high customer demand as it allowed passengers to travel quickly, securely and flexibly across the network without the need to buy a paper ticket.
By touching-in and out at the start and end of each journey, using the same contactless card or device, the system automatically works out the best value fare for your day’s travel.
In September 2021, the system was further enhanced following the roll-out of weekly capping, which means customers can now travel in confidence knowing they will never pay more than a seven-day travel pass depending on the zones they are travelling through.
Technically innovative systems such as Metrolink represent the future of rail travel as it enables smooth operations throughout journeys and improves the passenger experience.