Transport for West Midlands unveils plans for regional smart ticketing system

Swift pay as you go for travel on public transport in the West Midlands
TAP AND CAP: Smart ticketing is planned across the West Midlands based on Swift transit card technology

Public transportation users in the West Midlands will be able to use a new ‘tap and cap’ smart ticketing platform to make contactless payments for their journeys across the UK region’s entire rail, bus and tram network by 2022, according to plans revealed by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM).

“While smart ticketing initiatives exist in some form in Nottingham, via the Robin Hood travel card, and in parts of the West Midlands via Swift, the UK’s second-biggest public transport payment system after London’s Oyster scheme, this new platform would be the first to function at a Midlands-wide level, and encompass all public transport operators,” says TfWM, the transport authority leading the development process.

The platform will use Swift transit card payment technologies and “could also be adapted to include emerging transport modes such as electric bike hire and the rental of e-scooters”. Travel passes, bank cards and smartphones will all be supported.

Payments could also be capped “at a daily or weekly limit, enhancing value for money for those travelling across the whole Midlands region, regardless of travel mode or transport operator”.

TfWM plans to lead an initial rollout with Nottingham City Council, while the strategic regional transport body Midlands Connect “will work with other local authorities across the region to integrate more areas into the scheme, which could be operational by 2022”.

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