Metrolink passengers across Greater Manchester can now benefit from a new and easy-to-use contactless payment system – transforming the way people pay for public transport.
On 15 July 2019, Greater Manchester joined a small band of leading global city-regions including New York, Rio and Singapore, which are currently also introducing the technology.
It also marks one of the first tangible steps towards Our Network. This Mayor Andy Burnham’s 10-year plan to create an integrated, modern and accessible public transport system.
Metrolink customers can already use their contactless bank card to buy a ticket at a ticket machine, and this will remain an option. However, what the new ‘intelligent’ contactless system will do is cut out the need to buy a ticket or download the app – with passengers simply required to touch-in and touch-out at tram stops, with the system working out their fare, up to a daily cap.
The payment method has already been available in the capital’s transport for five years.
If travelers forget to touch-in at the first stop, they could be charged £30, and if they forget to touch-out at the final stop, they will be charged £4.60. Users must use the same card to touch-in and touch-out.
They won’t need to touch-in or touch-out again if they are changing trams as part of a single journey.
The fare will be automatically deducted from the user’s card, based on which zones they travel through, Metrolink bosses said.
Passengers will need to show ticket inspectors their contactless cards when they carry out checks.
If the device is not accepted by the inspection device, travellers may be charged up to £100.
Passengers are urged to remove other cards when they are making contactless payments, to avoid being charged twice.
The cards that can be used include Visa, Mastercard or Maestro, if they have the contactless payment symbol. Many contactless cards outside the UK can also be used.
Mr Burnham said: “These initiatives are the first of many on our journey towards the integrated, London-style transport system we want to see here.
“It will make travel by tram easier, and improve access to jobs, leisure, skills and education opportunities across Greater Manchester.”