The dates for when contactless and ticket-less travel could start board Liverpool’s trains have already been revealed by the principle of Merseyrail.
“Indicative” timescales mean customers could begin using their charge cards to cover journeys from when early 2020.
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Speaking at Thursday’s meeting of the Liverpool City Region’s transport committee, managing director of Merseyrail, Andy Heath, said: “If you decrease to London, you see smart ticketing. We behind lag, but fear not – there are many plans set up with regards to future ticketing.
“People should be able to tap in and tap out with the amount of money being deducted directly from their bank-account. That becomes a genuine enabler. It will enable [more people using] smart cards with money being loaded onto them. It requires us in to the 21st century.
“Detail will all turn out since it progresses.”
When pressed by the committee for exact dates, he said there have been two phases to the procedure, and that at the moment, he could only identify “indicative” time scales.
(Image: Liverpool ECHO)
He said phase among the roll-out would see customers use contactless just on the Merseyrail network, with the next phase allowing customers to utilize contactless on other services including buses and Northern trains.
If all would go to plan, phase you might be implemented in early 2020, in per year later with phase two coming, but he added: “With regards to timescale it is rather difficult to inform. It’s extremely expensive to accomplish, and complex extremely.”
The agile ticketing system will “increase what this network provides”, he said, adding: “It is a great opportunity. I’ve worked for Merseyrail going back twenty years and I’m really really proud and excited.”
Councillor Liam Robinson, portfolio holder for transport at the combined authority, in addition has had his say on when Liverpool’s ticketing system can be similar to that in London.
Timelapse footage of work to Walton Station
He said: “Making transport tickets easier and better to buy is really a key focus of Merseytravel and the combined authority. Smart ticketing technology shall give customers greater choice about when and how they purchase travel, and help ensure they obtain the cost effective fare always.
“Bus and train users in the town region can already make journeys using smart cards, with an increase of products becoming available. But we’re now considering how we develop a new smart ticket – along with contactless and online payment options – fit for future years, which work over the entire city region transport network seamlessly.”
The new smart ticketing portal is defined to displace the Walrus card – that may currently be utilized on buses, ferries and trains.
Cllr Robinson added: “For historical reasons, it’s proving more difficult than we’d have liked to acquire a London-like scheme operating here ever, with the areas beyond your capital getting the same frustrations. But we’re working over the populous city Region, and through Transport for the North, to find the smart ticketing scheme that folks deserve here.”