More information given on West Midlands Metro ticket machines

As ticket machines continue to be installed across West Midlands Metro stops, the company have now released further information of the plans for the introduction of the machines which will eventually see at least fitted to every stop on the network.

Its confirmed that the ticket machines will “go live” from the Autumn and that not only will tickets be able to be purchased but Swift cards will also be able to be topped up on the machines. Single and day tickets will be available for both tram and bus+Metro travel. Adult season tickets will be able to be purchased on a Swift card.

There are also a series of Frequently Asked Questions on the West Midlands Metro website, one of which asks why ticket machines are being introduced. The answer to that question doesn’t really answer it saying “Ticket machines will provide you with a new way to buy your ticket for your tram journey. In addition, you will be able to buy and top-up your Swift card using the machines.”

Its also noted that in addition to the ticket machines, tickets will still be able to be purchased from the My Metro App.

More information on the installation of the machines and their introduction will follow in the summer.

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4 Responses to More information given on West Midlands Metro ticket machines

  1. Andy says:

    They really don’t learn do they? When Sheffield Supertram opened they tried ticket machines at stops. You could also buy tickets in local shops. However before you could travel both types of tickets had to be ‘validated’ in another at-stop machine. But what anti-fare evasion was there? Answer: not a lot. They has what equated to inspectors on some services checking tickets. But even if an inspector got on a tram, they were often so busy that anyone evavding a fare could just get off one door and back on another. In addition the machines at stops that were full of pound coins were a target for thieves, with a number being removed in the dead of night with fork-lift trucks and JCBs etc. In the end someone (eventually) realized that as they has people supposedly checking tickets anyway it was easier to sling a machine around their neck and get rid of the ticket machines and troublesome validators. Inded the validator at Meadowhall broke down a few minutes before departure of the first public tram on opening day, meaning the first proper tram ran almost empty!
    Obviously nobody from the West Midlands was in Sheffield back then. if they were then they definitely would not be fitting machines at stops now.

  2. Andy walters says:

    I’ve had a good look inside & the person who showed me point to the armor plating in the right places to amount of door locks you need two hands to count & the money box itself is also out of bounds & made of tuff stuff .
    There are a few other sercurity items that won’t list also inside & out
    Other than a crane or a fork lift
    it ain’t worth bothering with just for a few quid
    because that’s all that will be in after there emptied after peak times

    • andy says:

      The problem is you’re thinking rationally there Andy. Theives aren’t always rational. Look at those who risk high voltage railway lines to steal a few quids worth of cable!
      In sheffield the machines were indeed sometimes physically removed by things like JCBs and forklift trucks. Other times they might not have been broken into fully, but were damaged enough to be put out of action and hence causing problems for intending passengers and additional costs for their repair/replacement. In the end it was just cheaper (and easier) to put someone on each tram with a ticket machine. It also helped cut fare dodging and the human interaction was appreciated by passengers, especially those travelling alone or late at night.
      Of course with our high minimum wage these days, the argumant may have reversed and it’s actually cheaper to replace machines and accept some fare dodging than it is to employ extra staff. I guess time will tell.

      • Steve Hyde says:

        The problem with the Sheffield system was partly due to the system they used where the ticket stock in the machine was preprinted and had a value to the thieves. It was relatively easy to remove the machine and then access the preprinted stock which could be sold at a discount and validated by the purchaser. Manchester Metrolink had had TVMs on the platforms since day one and despite occasional break-ins the system has been successful. The travel detail on the ticket stock isn’t printed until the transaction has taken place unlike the original Sheffield system. It therefore doesn’t have a value to thieves. With the current transition to cashless payment and smart cards the amount of cash in the machines is obviously declining making the returns on breaking in less attractive. Conductors are another way of collecting revenue and Sheffield has found them successful but I know that Nottingham found they had difficulty in collecting fares at busy times and additional roving conductors were needed which is why they moved to platform machines.

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