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Weekly Edition - Published 15 August 2015


Local News Report - Mobile Page


Merseytravel's smart ticketing scheme hits next milestone with launch of Solo on Walrus

MERSEYTRAVEL'S smart ticketing scheme hits its next milestone with popular pre-paid bus tickets set to go electronic on the Walrus card from Monday, 7 September 2015.

Smart 1 week and 4 week adult Solos and 1 week young persons' Solos will replace the current paper tickets from this date.

Available on Walrus cards from around 800 PayPoint outlets in and around Merseyside, compared with just 50 retailers currently, these types of Solos will be much more convenient to purchase.

In addition, users will no longer be required to provide photos, they can buy 1 or several Solos on the same Walrus card and the smart tickets will become active only on 1st use, meaning they can buy them in advance without wasting any travel days.

From 7 September 2015 there will be an added benefit for Saveaway users, with the ability to buy tickets for use the same day or next day.

Saveaway, the off peak day ticket for buses, trains and ferries, was the 1st ticket to go smart across Merseyside in March and with almost half a million tickets sold by the beginning of August 2015. Merseytravel's smart ticketing scheme is already the most active outside London based on Saveaway sales alone.

The launch of smart Solo now means that people can mix and match some of the most popular smart Solo and Saveaway tickets, having them all on the Walrus card at the same time.

If people don't yet have a Walrus card they can get one for free for an extended period when purchasing a smart Saveaway or Solo.

People are encouraged to keep their cards and re-use them and indications are that people are doing just that, with more than 60% of Saveaway purchases currently on re-used cards.

The developments in Merseytravel's smart ticketing scheme complement those being led by operators Stagecoach and Arriva, with some of their own products now available smart, such as online or via mobile phones.

A strategy, being taken forward jointly by Merseytravel and operators, will seek to transform the approach to tickets and ticket buying in the Liverpool City Region. Recommendations will be set out later in 2015. The focus will be on making the process more convenient and efficient for public transport users, making the most of technology and simplifying the zoning system and price structures where possible.

Meanwhile there are additional benefits for young users, with child Solos and Saveaways amongst the products that will become young people's tickets valid up to and including the age of 18 years old from 1 September 2015.

Merseyside is the 1st area to trail blaze an increase in age eligibility for young people's tickets irrespective of whether they are in education or training.  

Said Cllr Liam Robinson, Chair of Merseytravel:- "This is another step forward in going 'smart.' 80% of public transport journeys are on bus so it makes sense for our most popular bus tickets to go electronic, giving people more choice on where to buy, cutting out the need to provide photos and with the ability to mix and match tickets.  While our smart ticketing scheme is already the most active outside London, we recognise we're only scratching the surface. As well as making our existing products smart there's much work going on in parallel to ultimately transform the way people buy tickets for travel. Plans for an Oyster style scheme across the North will ultimately build on the work that we and other City regions already have underway."

Further information on changes to the tickets and how to purchase them is available on the Merseytravel website.


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