The UK’s Merseyrail passengers can now travel the entire network using pre-paid electronic smart cards after the installation of contactless platform validators at the majority of its stations.
The platform validators provided by INIT, a supplier of integrated planning, dispatching, telematics and ticketing systems for public transport allow passengers to ‘tap’ for their journey using smartcards and purchase a Merseyrail season ticket online for retrieval via the platform validator.
The use of smartcards will bring added convenience for passengers over buying a conventional ticket, with advance purchase options making purchasing a ticket more convenient and subsequently increasing customer satisfaction.
INIT already delivers ticketing equipment and platform validators for Nottingham’s bus and tram network and has now installed 183 of its platform validators to help modernise Merseyrail’s services, which transported an average of more than 100,000 passengers per day before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jens Mullak, managing director of INIT, says, “COVID-19 has accelerated the shift away from traditional ticketing methods, with smartcards and other contactless payment methods becoming increasingly popular in recent years. With the move to customers using these technologies wherever possible, the introduction of this system in the Liverpool City Region has come at a critical time as the UK starts to move away from the current travel restrictions.
“Particularly with a high percentage of customers using its services daily, the installation of this technology will help Merseyrail run its daily schedule of more than 600 services more efficiently, modernising the process of purchasing a ticket and making it more convenient for passengers.
The PROXmobil3 validators are also EMV-ready which will enable them to accept contactless payments in the future.
Suzanne Grant, commercial director at Merseyrail, adds, “The introduction of this technology is an exciting development that allows us to modernise our retail offer, improve accessibility and develop an easier way of travelling for our customers.
“INIT has a proven international track record of delivering innovative solutions to transport clients and we are excited to partner with them.”