£45m smart ticketing investment to transform public transport in Northern Ireland
6 September 2016 • Author: Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, European Railway Review
A £45 million investment programme to deliver smart ticketing across public transport in Northern Ireland was announced on 06 September by Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard.
The £45 million investment programme will help provide a modernised ticketing system transforming public transport across Northern Ireland. It is hoped the Translink Future Ticketing System (TFTS) will lead greater usage thanks to, amongst other advances, the introduction of contactless payment cards.
“A high quality public transport infrastructure is fundamental to encouraging people to use our buses and trains”
Announcing the investment, Minister Chris Hazzard said: “The new Programme for Government envisages increasing the number of people using public transport.
“A high quality public transport infrastructure is fundamental to encouraging people to use our buses and trains. This innovative ticketing system will deliver long term benefits and transform how we access public transport across the region.
“The current ticketing system was introduced 15 years ago and serves around 80 million passenger journeys every year. This programme will deliver a modern, efficient and convenient ticketing system that will benefit passengers and lead to greater efficiencies. It will improve the passenger experience.”
The Minister also announced that Parkeon has been awarded the contract to design and deliver the new smart ticketing system.
Smart ticketing investment set to improve the passenger experience
Chris Conway, Translink Group Chief Executive said: “This is a key milestone in our plans to transform public transport and make it your first choice of travel.
“We are looking forward to working closely with Parkeon to introduce modern ticketing technologies that will create easier, integrated ticketing options offering customers more choice and convenience.
“Exciting enhancements will include the acceptance of contactless payment cards on bus, e-purse payments like the London style ‘Oyster Card’, ticket vending machines, gated rail stations and an online app for customers to manage their accounts and top-up their smartcards”.
“Implementation is expected to start in 2018 with the new Bus Rapid Transit System. Following this, in 2019 we plan to introduce contactless payments for Metro and Ulsterbus services and customers will enjoy further technology enhancements as we phase in this new era in Translink ticketing which will attract more people to use the bus and train as travel options.”
The TFTS programme will be rolled out from 2018.
Owen Griffith, Managing Director, Parkeon Transportation commented: “I am delighted that Parkeon has been selected to deliver this prestigious new system and am looking forward to working closely with Translink to make sure that the project is a great success. As specialists in transport ticketing solutions, Parkeon has a deep understanding of how the technologies that Translink have selected for this project can bring significant benefits in terms of convenience and ease-of-use for passengers.”