City council staff are testing internal systems ahead of rolling out a new, linked-up contactless payment scheme on Nottingham’s public transport network.
The council could not provide an exact date on when the new scheme will come into effect, but insisted it will be “very soon”.
Tramlink Nottingham, the company responsible for NET’s tram network, confirmed the council-led plans in July.
The new contactless system will allow passengers to ‘tap’ onto a Nottingham tram using their bank card, before then using the same payment method on a bus without incurring extra charges.
Machines which accept contactless have already been installed at tram stops.
It is part of a Nottingham City Council scheme to encourage easier and cheaper public transport use, linking NET trams with Nottingham City Transport’s buses.
The city’s Linkbus service will also be included, the council added, with the next stage of the plan to introduce “best value capped fares” across the entire public transport network.
Councillor Rosemary Healy, portfolio holder for transport on the city council, said: “Enabling people to pay for their tram journeys using their bank cards or phone will make travelling by public transport in the city even easier than it already is.
“Contactless payment is already available on NCT buses and will be rolled out on the tram and Linkbus networks very soon. We’re currently testing the back-office system.
“Once all operators are part of the system, the next stage will be multi-operator contactless, which means that passengers will be able to benefit from best value capped fares for multiple journeys made on any NCT bus, Linkbus, or tram within the same day.”
As part of the system, passengers will be able to tap onto any public transport, as many times in one day, with the payment system automatically calculating the best day-capped fare.
It comes after Nottingham City Council decided to spend about £788,000 on public transport, partly on new smart ticketing measures, but to also extend the provision of concessionary fares for older people.
Separate documents from Nottinghamshire County Council reveal a future contract for smart ticketing will begin in 2023, expected to relate to public transport, and costing £10 million.
This contract is expected to be reviewed at a future finance committee meeting, following requests from opposition councillors.