All passengers on Manchester Metrolink – and the regions bus network – will be able to use a smart card for travel from 2017 it has been revealed. Currently concessionary travel pass holders have been able to use the get me there card – since autumn 2014 – and despite the introduction in November 2015 of a Metrolink mobile ticketing app the full introduction of the “Oyster” style ticketing had been delayed but now the project has progresses sufficiently to make this go-ahead announcement.
A report to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority has said that by the end of 2017 all passengers will be able to use get me there on Metrolink as well as joint bus and tram tickets. There will also be more ways to pay for get me there introduced with Metrolink ticket machines set-up to allow payment via either cash or card.
Stephen Rhodes, TfGM’s Customer Operations Director, said: “This is all about improving the customer experience and ensuring the delivery of an integrated ticketing system that enables seamless travel right across Greater Manchester. We want to ensure we deliver the best solution for people in Greater Manchester and have been working in a complex environment which has meant we have had to adapt to changing circumstances, new technology, new legislation and changing expectations from customers. As such careful planning and assessment has been vital. We have made a good start on our smart journey and we still have a way to go to reach our destination but we now have a road map and a realistic timetable to get there.”
In addition to the roll out by the end of next year it is also planned that within the next five years smarter contactless travel will be introduced (using contactless bank cards to automatically pay for travel) alongside smart capping (where the best value tariff is worked out automatically for passengers).