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Public Transport in The Midlands is Becoming More Convenient

3 min

Image Credit: West Midlands Combined Authority
Transport for West Midlands’ new multi-operator contactless payment option is going to allow residents and visitors to benefit from convenient and cost-efficient public transport. Quadrant Transport looks at how this will help to encourage people to use public transport.

It has been announced by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) that it is working with the UK’s principal bus operators to launch a major fare-capping project to offer passengers the best value and more convenient travel.

Seeing Cost-efficient Public Transport Is Needed Due To The Cost-of-living Crisis

A system will be developed over the next two years to allow passengers to use their contactless cards across a range of transport modes and operators.

TfWM has said that this will mean best value fares are applied automatically and will enable any debit or credit card for multi-operator travel, offering people the benefits of convenient travel by tapping on and off buses in the region.

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “Given the cost of living pressures facing local residents right across our region, the pay-as-you-go options, flexible tickets and season passes offered via Swift have an important role to play in reducing household outgoings during these challenging times.

“Thanks to the operators we work closely with, the West Midlands has some of the lowest fares in the country. This is especially true on our excellent value bus network, with the daysaver held at its 2013 price – cheaper than recent daysaver fares announced in other parts of the UK – and further boosted by the news this week that the Department for Transport will cap single fares at £2 for a period.”

Over the longer term, our new investment into multi-operator contactless ticketing will help to make public transport here even more convenient, even more cost efficient and even greater value for money in the future.

Even though in the future passengers will not need a Swift card to ensure the best value, the card will continue to be available for those either excluded from the banking system or those who don’t want to use their contactless card for travel. The card will offer flexible fares capped over one, three or seven days.

Offering Better Convenience Is Essential To Seeing The Modal Shift

Key locations across the West Midlands will see 60 new Swift card vending machines installed from early 2023. Seeing these vending machines installed across different locations in the region will help make travelling by public transport more appealing because it supports convenient transportation. This is because being able to just pick up a card from a vending machine is simple and easy to do.

Councillor Ian Ward, WMCA portfolio holder for transport and leader of Birmingham City Council, said he believes that implementing this scheme will help the Midlands to see the modal shift: “Swift is a national leader in smart ticketing and this investment will take it to the next level for passengers – offering everyone the lowest fare guaranteed on public transport with just a tap of their bank card.

“Offering better value and convenience is a key part of our plans to encourage more people to leave their cars at home and use public transport as we tackle the climate emergency, reduce traffic congestion, and improve the air we breathe.”

This is just part of the more than £1 billion investment we are putting in our transport over the next five years to revolutionise our bus, cycling, rail and tram networks and services better connecting people to the job and leisure opportunities across the region.

Commuters because of the new scheme will be able to travel further for work and go from bus to tram to tram throughout the region for a daily cap. It is hoped that the scheme will eventually cover the wider region and nationally with UK Government and other transport operators’ support.