Plans to improve integrated, smart ticketing on public transport across the West of England are underway.
The West of England Combined Authority is looking at how ticketing can be simplified, giving people the flexibility to move across different transport systems more easily; for example offering tickets that work on buses, trains and for cycle schemes.
Significant progress has already been made to promote smart ticketing in the West of England, including the availability of mobile phone apps and the Travelwest travelcard.
West of England Mayor, Tim Bowles, said: “I want to make travelling on public transport easier and more user-friendly, giving people more sustainable ways to travel and helping to tackle congestion. Simplifying ticketing could mean, for example, that a resident in Keynsham uses the same ticket to take the train into Bristol and then a metrobus towards Cribbs Causeway.
“We need to be innovative to tackle the challenges of congestion and air quality. We will work with partners to look at the best ways of improving ticketing, which will give residents more options for how they travel.”
As part of this work, the Combined Authority is supporting smaller bus operators, to replace old equipment with contactless bank card payment technology on all buses operating in the West of England.
£300,000 is being invested in phase one of the smart ticketing work to develop further options and £418,000 to support contactless payment.
The West of England Combined Authority is chaired by Regional Mayor, Tim Bowles, and is made up of the leaders and Mayor from its three member councils – Bath & North East Somerset (Leader, Cllr Dine Romero), Bristol City Council (Mayor Marvin Rees) and South Gloucestershire Council (Leader, Cllr Toby Savage). The Chair of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Professor Steve West, also attends committee meetings.