Nottingham is set to become the first city outside London where people can pay for their bus and tram journeys using contactless bank cards and phones.
The news follows a successful bid by the City Council for £2.4m from the Department for Transport to develop the technology, which will also include a daily cap on fares already enjoyed by users of the Robin Hood Card.
As part of the same project, passengers using the card will be able to link it to their bank account, meaning they no longer need to top up – just swipe and go.
Councillor Sally Longford, Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhood Services and Local Transport, said: “We all know how popular contactless payment is in London – it’s so much quicker, easier and more convenient than buying a ticket – and we’re really excited we’ll be able to offer this to our citizens.
“We’ll be working with our partners at the tram and the bus operators in the city to deliver a payment method that works across multiple services, and sets a limit on the daily fare, always giving the best value for passengers.
“To become the first city outside London to provide this is testament to how Nottingham is at the forefront of public transport, with an already award-winning integrated, efficient and low-emission system that puts passengers first.”
The new system will include the major bus and tram routes within Greater Nottingham, and lay the foundation for future roll out across the wider city region. In addition to daily capped fares, it will also include the potential to introduce best value weekly caps, while monthly and annual caps will be explored further.
Robin Hood Card users can expect to benefit from late 2018, while contactless payments by bankcard and phone will go live during 2019.
Cllr Longford added: “The simplification of payment will speed up boarding and make public transport a more attractive option, helping to reduce congestion and improve air quality for everyone.
“High quality public transport is also essential to support economic growth and enable the delivery of housing, as it enables people to get to work or school, go shopping and enjoy leisure activities.”
The Robin Hood Pay As You Go Card will remain an option for people who don’t have bank accounts and like to top-up with cash, in particular young people, those who don’t use contactless payment and those who prefer to use Pay as You Go.