Translink ticketing milestone enabled by Flowbird
Translink has rolled out a national account-based ticketing (ABT) system covering Northern Ireland.
Passengers using the Translink Metro bus network in Belfast can now make contactless payments as part of the operator’s Future Ticketing System, which has been developed in partnership with transport ticketing and payments specialist Flowbird.
In time, the new contactless ticketing architecture is envisioned to provide integrated and seamless multimodal travel for citizens across Northern Ireland, which would create the UK’s largest multimodal ABT system outside London.
Passengers on Translink Metro’s 270 Belfast buses are the first to experience Open Payments ABT in the city, with contactless bank cards acting as both a ticket and payment method for a flat fare regardless of distance travelled. Frequent travellers also benefit from a fares cap of £3.50 when two or more Metro journeys are made in one day.
In addition to contactless payments, the new system also continues to accept Translink’s fare-paying and concessionary smartcards, offering passengers a choice of payment methods while ensuring access to transport services for children and customers who cannot use a bank card.
The scheme will ultimately be extended to a further 1050 Ulsterbus and Goldliner vehicles, with additional ‘tap off’ functionality being introduced across Metro, Glider, Ulsterbus and NI Railways services in future. Passengers tapping their bank cards on-and-off ticketing validators will benefit from the best correct fare without having to buy a ticket in advance or navigate the fares structure. The CloudFare back office will automatically work out the best available fare for the journey, irrespective of the mode of travel or the number of legs.
“Ultimately, our ambition is enabling passengers to simply turn up, tap on and travel knowing they have been availed of the best value fare” – Paddy Anderson, Chief Financial Officer at Translink
Paddy Anderson, Chief Financial Officer at Translink, said: “This rollout reflects just one exciting step in the range of plans we have to improve customer experience and shorten journey times for everyone on-board. We endeavour to provide our customers with the best possible service and are encouraging more people to benefit from this latest travel payment option.
“Ultimately, our ambition is enabling passengers to simply turn up, tap on and travel knowing they have been availed of the best value fare. Our customers will not only enjoy the convenience and simplicity of making contactless payments but, at a time when the cost of living is escalating, they can also easily view their transaction and payment history online, checking the savings they’ve made via the daily capped contactless fare.”
“This is an important milestone in the development of a nationwide ABT system that will evolve to include Ulsterbus, Glider BRT and Rail services in addition to Metro buses” – David Thompson, Flowbird Managing Director
“This is an important milestone in the development of a nationwide ABT system that will evolve to include Ulsterbus, Glider BRT and Rail services in addition to Metro buses,” said David Thompson, Flowbird Managing Director. “This will make it easier than ever before for the people of Belfast to use public transport, knowing that a simple ‘tap’ will guarantee them the best available correct fare for that day.
“As long-term partners for Translink’s Future Ticketing System, we are delighted to be supporting the development of one of the world’s biggest integrated multimodal transport networks.”