Transport for Wales (TfW) has started installing new ticket vending machines and operating smartcards on many of their routes across the Wales and Borders network.
The new technology and contactless option for customers will enhance safety measures in the fight against Covid-19.
The modern ticket machines with improved Welsh Language components and raised pictograms for visually impaired customers have already been installed at nearly 20 stations including Cardiff Central, Penarth, Rhymney, Bargoed and Pontlottyn. Some stations such as Tir-Phil and Hengoed now have ticket retail facilities for the first time. Others like Bridgend have had their old machines replaced.
The smartcards, which customers can use to collect the season tickets they have purchased online, can now be used on more than 20 routes including Cardiff to Shrewsbury, Wrexham to Bidston and Swansea to Milford Haven. Smart cards can be used to buy weekly, monthly and annual season tickets.
Supporting this change, platform validators have also been installed at Penarth, Dingle Road, Barry and Barry Island. These will be rolled out to Rhymney line stations from 27 July 2020 with a view to installing them across the entire South Wales Metro network.
From 10 August 2020 these validators will be live for customers to load season ticket orders onto their smart cards – TfW hope to add further functionality to the platform validators over the coming months.
James Price, Transport for Wales CEO said:
“Improving the customer experience is one of our top priorities and installing new, modern ticket machines and providing smartcards is an essential step forward.
“We are transforming transport across our Wales and Borders network, that work involves physical transformation but also utilising technology and introducing the most modern and efficient measures for us to operate our services.
“We are facing many challenges as a result of Covid-19 and providing contactless options improves the safety of colleagues and staff and will really help with our social distancing measures.”
James Brooke, Director of Customer Integration at Transport for Wales Rail Services said:
“We are pleased to be investing significantly in smart technology to make it even easier for customers to buy and collect their tickets before they board.
“And by expanding our Smart card availability to weekly, monthly and annual tickets on more routes, we are giving our customers as many options as possible to buy their tickets.
“We’ve had to work hard to ensure these investments can still take place despite the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, to give more customers the ability to buy their tickets via contactless than ever before.”
The new ticket machines will be rolled out across the network, with 238 being installed at 143 railway stations across the Wales and Borders network.
For more information on smartcards and to order yours today, click here.