New multi-operator smartcard launches in Manchester

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PIC CAP: (L-R): Phil Smith , Managing Director at of Rosso Buses;, Chris Bowles , Managing Director of Stagecoach Manchester; Trevor Roberts , Chairman of Greater Manchester Travelcards Limited; Cllr Andrew Fender, TfGM Committee Chairman; Rick Halsall, Arriva Head of Operations at Arriva North West , Adrian Worsfold, Business Manager with FirstGroup; and Graydn Thompson , General Manager of System One Travelcards
PIC CAP: (L-r): Phil Smith , Managing Director at of Rosso Buses;, Chris Bowles , Managing Director of Stagecoach Manchester; Trevor Roberts , Chairman of Greater Manchester Travelcards Limited; Cllr Andrew Fender, TfGM Committee Chairman; Rick Halsall, Arriva Head of Operations at Arriva North West , Adrian Worsfold, Business Manager with FirstGroup; and Graydn Thompson , General Manager of System One Travelcards

Scheme offers 10% discount on fare prices and includes 30 bus operators in the Greater Manchester area

A new multi-operator smart ticketing scheme has been introduced in Manchester.

The scheme is one of the largest in the UK outside London and is the result of collaboration between more than 30 bus operators through industry body Greater Manchester Travelcards Ltd (GMTL), the organisation behind the System One brand, in partnership with Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM).

Customers can now purchase multi­-operator travel, the data for which is stored on a smartcard and can be used on buses across Greater Manchester. Fares will be cut by an average of 10% for the new electronic products compared to the equivalent existing printed products, saving customers up to £5 a week.

Customers can buy adult and junior 1 ­day, 7 ­day and 28­ day products, providing unlimited bus travel across the Greater Manchester area.

The new smartcard product range, branded ‘get me there,’ is an extension of the equivalent existing printed System One multi­-operator products.

The scheme has involved joint working between private and public sector organisations and represents a combined multi?million pound investment by Greater Manchester’s major bus operators and TfGM, in partnership with GMTL.

The development follows a pledge made by the ‘big five’ bus operators to deliver multi­-operator smart ticketing to millions of bus customers across England during 2015. It also delivers on a commitment by TfGM to introduce the next stages of its ‘get me there’ smart ticketing scheme for Greater Manchester before the end of the year.

Stagecoach Manchester Managing Director Christopher Bowles said: “This is great news for Manchester’s bus users. Stagecoach is making an £11m investment across the country in new digital technology to make it easier for our customers to use the bus. Smart ticketing, better information and easier ways to buy travel are at the heart of our strategy.

“This announcement shows that, by working together, bus operators, local authorities and the Government can make buses even better for the many people who rely on them every day.”

Teresa Broxton, Managing Director for First Manchester added, “The introduction of the rebranded ‘get me there’ smart tickets will help make bus travel even more convenient for customers.

“We’ve worked together with other operators and our Manchester transport partners to invest in technology to improve accessibility for customers across the network.”

Phil Cummins, Area Managing Director for Arriva Manchester, said: “Arriva’s commitment towards innovating for the good of our customers has always been right at the heart of our business and we welcome the opportunity to partner with our peers in order to explore new technologies which will enhance the passenger experience.

“The launch of the ‘get me there’ smartcard scheme is another example of how collaboration can deliver greater choice and better services for customers, and make bus travel a more enticing, accessible method of transport.”