A NEW multi-million pound contactless payment scheme is being developed for bus and tram users across the region.
Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) said it working with the country’s ‘principal bus operators’ to launch the ‘major fare capping project’ allowing those with any card to get the best value.
The £18million system will be developed over two years allowing people to use any debit or credit card across buses and trams and a range of operators.
The funding for the project came from the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement.
The funding will also cover the costs of 60 new Swift card vending machines which will be installed at key locations across the West Midlands from early next year making it easier than ever to buy a Swift card.
Councillor Ian Ward, WMCA portfolio holder for transport and leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “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 £1billion 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.”
After Oyster, Swift is the most popular smartcard scheme for travel payments in the UK with approximately 250,000 regular users making more than 60 million journeys per year.
Although in future passengers will not need a Swift card to ensure best value – it will continue to be available for those either excluded from the banking system or unwilling to use their contactless card for travel, with flexible fares capped over 1,3 and 7 days on offer.