Nottingham City Council has launched an ‘Oyster-style’ contactless ticketing system-the first of its kind outside of London.
The new Nottingham Contactless multi-operator Tap & Go option – available across Nottingham City Transport buses, NET trams and Linkbuses operated by CT4N – allow people to tap on with contactless bank cards or phones throughout the day and pay one daily charge capped at the best fare for their travel, regardless of which of the three operators they use or however many journeys they make on the day.
The City Council successfully bid for £2.7m from the Department for Transport’s National Productivity Fund and Transforming Cities Programme to develop the technology. The main benefits are:
- Effortless cashless payments
- No fumbling for change or having to find out fares for each operator before travelling
- Fares capped at the best for the day’s travel across three main local operators
- Quicker boarding will help make public transport an even more attractive option.
Passengers can still pay contactlessly for single fares or if they make multiple journeys across NCT, NET and Linkbuses, they will be charged £5.60 for the day capped fare.
Since Nottingham Contactless launched for journeys on individual operators, there have been three million taps and this new additional multi-operator capping is designed to encourage people to travel more easily and flexibly without worrying how much they will be charged or deciding what ticket they need in advance.
The system has been developed by INIT, a world leader in public transport technology which has a UK office in Nottingham. This stage of the new system’s development lays the foundation for future rollout across the wider city region and to more operators. The City Council is working with the DfT and regional partners including Transport for the West Midlands and Midlands Connect to integrate all operators including trentbarton and train operating companies.
The City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Local Transport, Councillor Rosemary Healy, said: “We have been working towards a multi-operator contactless and capped payment option for a number of years now, to make using our wonderful public transport network as simple and stress-free as possible. It’s something we may have experienced in other great cities and I’m really pleased we are now offering it to people visiting, living and working in Nottingham.
“The new system will always give the best value for passengers, providing an extra reason for even more people to choose our award-winning green public transport services. This in turn helps Nottingham continue to grow sustainably.”
NCT’s Strategic Projects Manager, Nicola Tidy, said: “Contactless payments have revolutionised the way people pay for travel on NCT buses and by expanding Nottingham Contactless so that customers benefit from Robin Hood price caps when they travel across NCT, NET and Linkbuses, paying for travel around Nottingham is now even more convenient.”
NET’s Chief Operating Officer, Andrew Conroy, said: “Anything that makes travel more convenient is to be welcomed – with Nottingham Contactless, people don’t need to carry change or worry about knowing the fare. It helps people to make whole journeys across different transport operators effortlessly. We hope it will help to encourage more people to choose NET to get in and around Nottingham.”
Jens Mullak, managing director of INIT, said: “We are thrilled to deliver this exciting ticketing solution, which makes public transport more attractive – particularly important as our sector tries to attract people back to our trams and buses. From our dedicated Nottingham office in the Lace Market, INIT continues to deliver modern, simple fare solutions that Nottingham’s passengers expect and deserve, and which has been propelled, in part, by their wish to pay using contactless during the pandemic.”
John Shaw, Operations Manager at CT4N commented: “We are delighted to be part of this initiative that will enable us to offer our customers the option of using contactless payment to cover the cost of their trip. It makes accessing our services even easier.
“Over the last couple of years contactless has become the most convenient way to pay in many different environments, and the introduction of this innovative new Tap and Go system will help to future proof our bus services.”