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Smart ticketing to make travel easier
A more sophisticated method of ticketing and payment is being introduced to transform the way people travel on public transport across the North.
‘Smart North’ has been developed to respond to changes in customer aspirations and developments in technology, and the need to develop a pan-Northern approach.
John Henkel, Smart Executive Sponsor, who is leading the project said: “We are working with transport operators and other partners to make travel by rail, bus and light rail as simple, attractive and convenient as possible for local trips and longer journeys.
“Customers are aware of advances in London and other major cities and they told us a comprehensive approach to better information and smarter payment and ticketing across the North is needed.”
Working with partners, Transport for the North (TfN) has set out the Integrated and Smart programme that will deliver customer benefits.
‘Smart North’ will be a ‘tap-in’ smart and integrated ticketing system which can be used on public transport across the North. Customers will not be required to pre-purchase a ticket and will benefit from a ‘fair-price promise’ that combined fares will not exceed the cost of a daily/weekly travelcard or similar product.
In addition, customers will be supported at all stages of their journey through journey planners, real-time service information, messaging about service disruption and customer support services.
This first phase will be part of a national programme to roll out smart ticketing on the railway.
The second phase, will improve customer information services through, for example, providing information about bus fares in journey planners.
The third phase will involve close working with transport operators to provide the equipment and back office to support London-style use of contactless bank cards, with the ‘fair-price’ promise and customer support services.
John Henkel added: “Our research tells us that these improvements in information, ticketing and payments will make transport easier and simpler to use, which then benefits the economy and the environment. I am pleased that we have strong support from partners and operators in bringing forward the use of smart technologies as quickly as we can.”