Public transport users in Northern Ireland will soon be able to make tap-on-tap-off contactless fare payments on all bus and rail services across the whole province using their debit or credit card or a single transit smartcard.
Public transport operator Translink’s Future Ticketing System will also enable passengers making multiple journeys across the Northern Ireland rail network and Metro, Ulsterbus and Glider bus services to pay no more than a capped daily or weekly fare.
Translink began rolling out the first phase of the system on the Belfast Glider bus rapid transit network in 2018 and now plans to introduce the second phase on the rail network over the summer and all remaining bus services in the autumn, according to a Belfast Live report.
“Once all machines are replaced in Metro and Ulsterbus we want a system where people can just turn up, tap and travel without having to do research or pre-pay for where they want to travel,” Translink’s David Graham told a Belfast City Council committee, the publication says.
“Over the years we have introduced quite a range of smartcard products. They are well used and well liked, but you need to know what is best for you, and that requires knowledge from the buyer.
“We want to move to a single card system where we can offer similar value without the need for that research. You simply travel [and] the system works out your fare, based on what your travel patterns are. You are then charged at the end of the day, rather than being charged prior to travel, on bus, Glider, rail the same way, with your charge being integrated.”
Translink originally announced plans to introduce integrated contactless ticketing across Northern Ireland in September 2016.