Smart ticketing moves forward in Greater Manchester

ACT customer, TfGM, has announced that a one-ticket smart solution for buses and trams across Greater Manchester – making travel easier for all – will become a reality from next year.

Please see full press release below.

Greater Manchester Mayor Tony Lloyd said: “There is a strong and clear ambition in Greater Manchester to deliver a modern smart ticketing system across our transport network. We must meet that ambition.

“People in Greater Manchester expect this project to be a priority and we should ensure that progress is measured against that legitimate public expectation.”

Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee, said: “We want to make travel easier for everyone and ensure public transport provides a real choice for people. The introduction of smart ticketing helps us to do that by adding convenience, flexibility and value to customers.

“We are absolutely clear about what we want to achieve and we are now working through the details to ensure the delivery of smart ticketing within the timescales which we have set out to enable and encourage as many people as possible to use public transport.” 

  • The GMCA report states that the next phases of the smart ticketing roll-out will include, by the end of next year:
  • Extending the get me there smart card on Metrolink to all passengers – currently get me there is available as an app on Metrolink but only Greater Manchester’s 500,000 concessionary travel pass holders can use the smart card system.​
  • ​Introducing multimodal smart for joint bus and tram travel – currently get me there smart cards are only available for customers on buses who pay for their journeys, with passengers required to buy printed tickets if they want to combine with trams or trains.​
  • Adding more places and ways to pay for get me there – as well as online accounts with get me there passengers will also be able to use cash or cards at Metrolink ticket machines.

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.”

Concessionary travel pass holders have been able to use get me there on Metrolink since autumn 2014 and in November 2015 a Metrolink mobile ticketing app was launched – followed by the introduction of get me there for bus passengers.

The report to GMCA outlines a series of smart ticketing developments to be phased in over the next five years including:

  • Smarter contactless travel – where passengers use their bank card to touch in and touch out instead of a smart card. Contactless bank card payments, in exchange for a printed ticket, are initially being rolled out on Metrolink.
  • Smart capping – where get me there automatically works out the best value fare tariff for passengers who make multiple journeys but only buy a series of one-trip tickets. Smart capping would also work with contactless bank cards, recognising that it was the same person travelling even if they had not registered with get me there.

Train travel will also be added to the suite of smart ticketing options, to be developed as part of TfGM’s work with Transport for the North.

Stephen Rhodes added: “Smart ticketing works best for customers when it is simple and straightforward to use. Having taken the time to review our progress to date and look carefully at how we should proceed, we are now ready to take these next steps.”

To find out more...

For further information, please contact:
Joanne Hutchinson, Marketing Manager, Applied Card Technologies Limited.
T: 01249 751200