UK: Political leaders from across the Midlands have called on the government to provide £20m to fund the roll-out of a ‘tap and cap’ smart ticketing system covering rail, tram and bus services across an area including Coventry, Wolverhampton, Birmingham, Leicester, Derby and Nottingham
Current smart ticketing initiatives in the region include Swift in parts of the West Midlands and Nottingham’s Robin Hood card. However the proposed new platform would be the first to function at a region-wide level and to encompass all public transport operators.
It would be based on the payment technology behind the Swift card, and led by Transport for West Midlands with the initial roll-out being implemented by TfWM and Nottingham City Council.
Strategic regional transport body Midlands Connect would then work with local authorities to integrate more areas into the scheme, which could be operational by 2022.
‘The introduction of the Swift card in the West Midlands has been a great success, with more than 50 million journeys undertaken last year’, said Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street. ‘But although the card is the biggest of its kind outside of London, we must always look to keep improving.’
Street said government funding would ‘allow us to cap payments to ensure better value for money, but it also means we could integrate the technology with our new e-scooter trial and soon-to-be announced bike share scheme, allowing seamless travel on all modes of transport across the region.’
Councillor Ian Ward, leader of Birmingham City Council and transport portfolio lead for the West Midlands Combined Authority, said ‘the way we work, live and travel is changing’, and the smart ticketing platform would mean ‘better value for money, more convenient ways to pay and crucially, more people using our public transport network.’