Tap-in, tap-out ticketing to be trialled across West Midlands railway stations - The Solihull Observer

Tap-in, tap-out ticketing to be trialled across West Midlands railway stations

Solihull Editorial 1st Feb, 2024   0

RAIL PASSENGERS travelling to and from 75 railway stations in the West Midlands will be able to use tap-in and tap-out ticketing from next year.

The government has announced plans to fit stations across the region with the technology, similar to the London Oyster card system, under a new pilot to simplify rail fares and payment.

Swift smartcard users will be able to seamlessly tap and go using rail, bus and tram services to tap in and out and secure the best value fare without having to plan ahead or seek out the right ticket.

Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), which is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), and the West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE) have teamed up with the Department for Transport and Great British Railways Transition Team (GBRTT) on the pilot as well as working on further improvements for the region’s rail passengers.

The project is part of the government’s plans to reform the railways, while also delivering on the Trailblazer devolution deals aimed at giving local leaders a bigger say in how the network is run.

These trials will also pave the way for the future roll-out of similar technology to more stations across the North and Midlands, funded in part by £100million reallocated from HS2, enabling the further rollout of such technology in more places.

Rail Minister Huw Merrimen, who is visiting Wolverhampton Railway Station to announce the pilot.

Stewart Fox-Mills, director for fares, ticketing and retail at GBRTT said: “Buying a train ticket is often too complicated. Which is why work to simplify the experience customers have is such a vital part of wider rail reforms.

“Partnership working, bringing the railway together to work with local partners, has unlocked pilots that will deliver a more seamless travel experience for customers. GBRTT will continue to work with partners to deliver a more locally accountable, integrated rail network.”

In parallel to this pilot, TfWM is working in partnership with bus operators and Midlands Connect to develop a new contactless smart payment system.

This will allow travellers to use their contactless debit or credit card to automatically secure best value fares across a range of bus and tram operators.

The WMCA is also working closely with DfT and GBRTT to ensure that this system will be able to incorporate train operators in future.

The 75 railway stations are those within the TfWM operational area covering the seven metropolitan local authorities of Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solilhull, Walsall and Wolverhampton or zones 1 to 5 on the regional network. It includes five new stations currently under construction.


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