TfGM reveals when we will be able to beep in and beep out on the tram
TfGM has released the date on which passengers will be able to use their contactless bank cards across the Metrolink with a new ‘intelligent’ system that will mean tickets or apps are no longer necessary.
From Monday 15th July passengers will be able to touch-in or touch-out of the system using their bank cards directly on the touch pads at tram stops. The system then works out the fare owed, up to a daily cap. The cap will be equivalent to the relevant adult one-day travelcard. TfGM is exploring the possibility of weekly and weekend caps, but until then a travelcard still represents better value.
Contactless payments on Metrolink in particular will be a major boost for many people
The new system will also work for contactless enabled devices such as phones and watches. Customers will be able to track how much they are paying via their bank statements or will be able to request statements from TfGM.
The system has been compared to the one currently in use in London, which also operates a weekly cap as well as a daily one. Similar systems are launching or are already use in New York, Rio and Singapore.
The announcement is seen as “one of the first tangible steps towards Our Network – the Mayor’s ten-year plan to create and integrated, modern and accessible public transport system,” according to TfGM. The announcement comes days after the launch of a free buss pass for 16-18-year-olds in Greater Manchester.
Andy Burnham said, “Contactless payments on Metrolink in particular will be a major boost for many people, including commuters and the millions of visitors we get every single year.
“It is something people visiting London will already be familiar with and will make travel by tram easier, and improve access to jobs, leisure, skills and education opportunities across Greater Manchester.”
Recent research conducted by Visa (who are powering the new system) highlighted that complex payment options acted as a barrier to travel and were also the cause of many complaints. The research also revealed public transport use could increase by as much as 27% if payment was easier.
Nick Mackie, Visa Global Head of Urban Mobility, said, “The future of our cities is intertwined with – and reliant on – a public transportation system that is easy for residents and visitors to use while also being cost-effective to operate.”
“Our partnership with Manchester uses the power and ease of contactless payments to improve the experience of living, working and travelling around the city.”
Some advantages include the fact that visitors who are unfamiliar with the system will be able to let the system work out how much they should pay and peak time passengers will be able to avoid long queues at ticket machines. Customers who prefer using cash or card to pay for tickets at machines or to use the Get Me There app will still be able to do so.
Confidentials contacted TfGM for clarity on how secure the system would be. A spokesperson responded:
"Security is at the core of Metrolink contactless payment, and customers can be confident that their card details are secure. When a card or device is touched at a smart reader or used for ticket checks by a Customer Service Representative, the card number is encrypted and there’s no way anyone can retrieve full card numbers and details.
"We’ve designed a specific security system that has been accredited by Visa and Mastercard, and conforms to Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard certified systems and business processes. In addition, if a customer needs to speak to our Contact Centre, our staff do not have access to full card details, only the minimum information required to support customer services."
Touch-in to begin, touch-out at the end
Use the smart readers on stops to touch-in before boarding the tram and touch-out at your destination. You don’t need to touch-out and touch-in again if you’re just changing trams as part of a single journey between two Metrolink stops. If you forget to touch-in before your journey, you could be charged the contactless standard fare of £30. If you forget to touch-out, you will be charged the incomplete journey fare of £4.60 – so it’s worth remembering every time.
Avoid card clash
To make sure your payment comes off the card you want, move it away from your other cards when using a smart reader.
Use the same device each time
You must touch-in and touch-out with the same card or device for all your day’s journeys. You will need to use a different card or device for each person travelling. Using a ticket machine may be a better option, if paying for a family or group.