It seems that the advent of contactless payments on Manchester Metrolink has been popular with over 170,000 journeys made on the network using the new system within the first four weeks between Monday 15th July and Sunday 11th August. The system has proved especially popular on event days but there have been some issues with some passengers forgetting to touch out at the end of their journeys resulting in being paid the maximum single journey fare.
The biggest amount of journeys made using contactless so far was on 9th August with 9,931 journeys recorded – Lancashire were due to play Yorkshire in a T20 Blast match at Old Trafford on this day, even though the weather intervened! – whilst on 11th August there were 8,009 journeys with Manchester United playing their first game of the season at Old Trafford against Chelsea.
Although the system should be fairly simple to use there have been a few teething problems with passengers not remembering to touch out at the end of their journey. This results in the maximum single fare for a journey being applied (£4.60) and this is not included as a part of the maximum capped daily price of £7. TfGM are now working with those passengers who haven’t touched out at the end of their journey and will provide refunds where appropriate.
Stephen Rhodes, TfGM Customer Director, said: “Contactless is a really simple and convenient way for people to pay for journeys on Metrolink and it’s great to see so many people have already taken to it. We recognise this is a different way of paying for travel and it will take some people a little while to adapt, which is why our customer information has an emphasis on the need to ‘touch-in’ and ‘touch-out’. As people get used to it, we hope it will become second nature, but anyone who is really concerned about forgetting is still able to use all the other options that were previously available to pay for their travel.”