Manchester Evening News

Passengers get rail fares on tap with trial scheme

- By JOSEPH TIMAN

RAIL passengers will be able to use contactles­s bank cards for ‘pay as you go’ train journeys at 17 stations in Greater Manchester from next year.

Tap-in, tap-out technology is being installed along two routes in the cityregion, meaning no tickets are needed to travel.

It comes after the government agreed to help Greater Manchester integrate its public transport network as part of a new devolution deal by introducin­g a daily cap on fares for local trains as well as buses and trams. Multi-modal fares are set to be rolled out by 2030.

But from next year, Greater Manchester will be taking part in a ‘Pay As You Go’ pilot allowing passengers to tap-in and tap-out at 17 stations on the Glossop to Piccadilly and Stalybridg­e to Victoria lines. The payment system would be similar to the one used on trams.

The full list of stations in and around Greater Manchester that will be taking part in the pilot from next year is: Ardwick, Ashburys, Ashton-under-Lyne, Broadbotto­m, Dinting, Fairfield, Flowery Field, Glossop, Godley, Gorton, Guide Bridge, Hadfield, Hattersley, Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Victoria, Newton for Hyde, Stalybridg­e.

The project is part of the government’s plans to reform the railways, while also delivering on 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 £100m reallocate­d from the cancelled HS2 route.

The West Midlands pilot is planned to cover 75 stations across the Transport for West Midlands area, including five currently under constructi­on, and use existing ‘Swift’ smartcards, meaning passengers can travel seamlessly on local bus and tram services as well.

The Greater Manchester trial will use contactles­s bank cards and devices, and will support the wider ambition for full multi-modal fares and ticketing integratio­n on bus, Metrolink, rail and cycle hire as part of the Bee Network by 2030. The final plans for the pilot schemes are still being finalised.

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham said: “We are transformi­ng how people travel in Greater Manchester, with the aim for people to pay for journeys easily and seamlessly across buses, trams, trains and cycle hire.”

 ?? ?? Rail passengers will be able to use contactles­s bank cards at 17 stations in Greater Manchester
Rail passengers will be able to use contactles­s bank cards at 17 stations in Greater Manchester

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