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Regional broker for contactless fare caps


06 July 2018

Public transport users in the Midlands will benefit from fare caps on contactless card payments under a proposed regional brokerage system. 

Transport for the West Midlands (TfWM), Nottingham City Council, and shadow sub-national transport body Midlands Connect are exploring the way to deliver the fare capping ambition for contactless EMV (Europay, Mastercard & Visa) cards. 

Matt Lewis, head of TfWM’s Swift ticketing system, told the West Midlands Combined Authority’s board that cEMV ticketing had already been introduced in the West Midlands on Midland Metro and bus services operated by Diamond Bus and National Express West Midlands. 

The National Express system is more advanced than the other two, featuring a daily cap to ensure passengers don’t pay more than the operator’s day ticket price. 

Lewis said TfWM wanted to ensure that individual operator’s systems could communicate with each other, enabling customers to benefit from multi-operator and multi-modal caps when using either cEMV cards or TfWM’s own Swift smartcard. 

Joint working with Nottingham City Council and Midlands Connect, has developed the idea for a ‘regional broker’ that would “sit above each operator’s system”. 

Lewis said the three parties planned to submit a funding bid to the DfT this month to deliver a Midlands-wide system. Preparation of the specification and outline business case is being funded by Midlands Connect.

TfWM is also keen to ensure  that smaller operators can make use of cEMV contactless payments. 

Said Lewis: “Once the technical specification has been developed and therefore there is clarity on the interface between ticket machines and the ‘regional broker’, TfWM will purchase ticket machines for those operator unable to do so themselves.” 

The ticket machines will be leased to operators.

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