Greater Manchester is one step closer to having its own version of the Oyster card for use on all public transport.
The ‘Get Me There’ smartcard has now been launched for use on trams and buses across the region.
Passengers will also be able to use it on trains in the next four years, if transport bosses keep their promise.
The Get Me There card is the latest step towards having a ‘seamless’ Oyster-style system across all public transport in the region.
Until now Get Me There was only available as a phone app to purchase tram tickets. It is now available in smartcard form and can be used to buy bus and tram tickets.
Last year, transport bosses vowed to extend it to trains by 2021 – and introduce a supplementary London-style contactless bank card system.
The smartcard plan hit the buffers in 2015 when transport bosses ripped up the contract for the project following ‘considerable’ delays.
Private firm Atos was forced to hand back £15m after failing to deliver the Get Me There system.
Greater Manchester Travelcards will operate the Transport for Greater Manchester-led scheme.
The smartcard system is long way off functioning like London’s Oyster card.
Get Me There users can only buy bus and tram tickets for their card, rather than topping up a balance, as you would with an Oyster card.
Passengers can view and purchase single and season tickets online, instead of having to carry cash and queue at machines.
The ultimate aim is to also have contactless account-based ticketing, where passengers use their bank card to touch in and touch out when hopping on and off services.
The 16 to 18 Get Me There card will halve the price of a bus day ticket for young people.
The region’s mayor Andy Burnham said: “The expansion of Get Me There will certainly help make travel easier and, for the first time, enable people across Greater Manchester to hop on and off trams and buses with their smartcard.
Source: Manchester Evening News