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Integrated and Smart Travel

"Our vision is to see integrated and smart travel established in the North, not only making life easier for current passengers, but also encouraging new passengers to travel by public transport throughout the region to support economic growth."

The way we pay for travel and source information on public transport is changing.

We are working in partnership with operators, transport authorities and the Department for Transport to deliver a scheme that will make it easier for passengers to travel seamlessly using their preferred payment method, confident that they have paid the cheapest possible on the day fare for their journey.

Customers can already use a smartcard, contactless bank card or their smartphone to pay for travel by public transport in the parts of the North of England. Our programme will build on existing systems to develop smart ticketing, payment and information technologies to transform travel across the North – making traveling by public transport simple, attractive and convenient.

This will include:

Programme objectives

The programme will be delivered in three phases over the next 4 years.


Delivering the programme

Click the corresponding squares in the timeline to find out more about each milestone

Phase 1

Smartcard on Rail

The delivery of early benefits focused on rail including the introduction of smart and integrated travel to customers by working with train companies and the Department for Transport to issue smart card products, complementing the availability of barcode ticketing for other journeys.  This first phase will also form part of a national programme to roll out smart ticketing on all rail travel.

Integrated and Smart Travel

The IST programme is working with operators and partners to deliver a programme that will make travel by rail, bus and light rail simpler, more attractive and convenient.

Phase 1: Smartcard on Rail

Phase one of the Integrated and Smart Travel programme (IST) will deliver early benefits to customers, primarily focused on rail and the introduction of smart season products.

Phase 2: Customer Information, Collaboration and Innovation Activities

This phase will continue to deliver early benefits for passengers travelling across the North but focusing more on information about fares and journey planning.

Phase 3: Account-based Travel Using Contactless Bank Cards

Phase 3 is the highest profile and most ambitious part of the programme. The aim is to offer people what they benefit from in London but across the whole of the North.