Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has announced that it will introduce electronic ticketing for trams, buses and trains over the next two years with hopes of “revolutionising public transport” in the county.
The authority said that e-purses (devices that can be used as a means of payment) and electronic smartcards, similar to Transport for London’s Oyster cards, that can be topped up online, at Travelshops and at stations, would replace paper tickets once agreements were reached with operators.
According to chair of the TfGM committee Councillor Andrew Fender, “the easier we can make it to use our buses, trains and trams, the more people will choose to travel on them.”
The challenge, according to him, is that, unlike London, Manchester has over 50 independent bus companies, each with different fares and products.
Atos, the IT company contracted by TfGM to provide expertise and support for the scheme, said that “the initial phase of the scheme will cover park and ride sites and cycle hubs” and that the scheme will be in accordance with ITSO, the government-backed technical specification for smartcards.
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