A £14 million project to install Smartcard technology on West Midlands buses has been publicly launched this month.
More than 2,500 buses have been fitted with card readers by transport authority Centro.
So far only passengers with micro-chip fitted concessionary travel passes will be able to use the readers. However travel bosses hope smart ticketing for all will arrive soon.
Centro chairman Angus Adam said: “This has been a complex project but it paves the way for the introduction of a world class ticketing system. Now that our region’s buses are smart we can press on with work to introduce a West Midlands Smartcard, similar to the Oyster Card in London.
“This will enable passengers to pre-load their card with cash which is then deducted as it is used on the public transport, regardless of which bus company’s service they get on. We are also looking at discounted fares for Smartcard holders.’’
Centro to retender for ITSO certidied smartcards
Centro say it has been implementing Smartcard into the West Midlands over the past three years. Elements of the Centro implementation contracts required retendering, primarily those relating to the Bureau based card production and the supply of ITSO certified blank smartcards.
ITSO is a Government-backed, non-profit distributing organisation which defines and develops the UK-wide technical specification for smart ticketing.
Smartcard launched on West Midlands buses