Smart Ticketing

A region-wide move to smart ticketing can ensure we are putting the passenger first. The technology needed to make it a reality is already transforming the way people pay for and gain access to public transport.

Midlands Connect is working with the DfT, local authorities and transport operators to allow people in the Midlands to use contactless travelcards, bank cards, mobile phones and other smart devices to travel seamlessly and affordably across the region, regardless of the different modes of transport and operators they may choose.

In late 2017, Midlands Connect commissioned a study to understand how Account Based Ticketing (ABT) solutions can be developed in the Midlands. This work has created an opportunity to develop a ‘Regional Broker System’ across multiple areas and operators, allowing the travelling public to use their existing bank cards (cEMV) or smartcards (ITSO) to travel almost anywhere in the region.

Customers will ultimately be able to pay a single, best-value, capped fare, which is then automatically charged to the account they have chosen.

£80 million

Government programme to introduce smart ticketing in England and Wales

Working closely with partners including the West Midlands Combined Authority, Nottingham City Council and Robinhood Operators Group, Midlands Connect has developed a technical and functional design for an ABT solution for cEMV and ITSO.

The extra flexibility and ease of smart ticketing, combined with the potential for the automatic charging of the most suitable fare for a particular journey, creates an attractive, efficient and beneficial alternative to people’s existing travel habits.

This could also have a huge influence on the number of journeys made by existing users of public transport, as well as attracting new users from other modes of transport.

Harnessing Technology and Innovation

During 2019 we will undertake research that will investigate how new technology and innovation can underpin our whole technical programme, ensuring our proposals for road and rail improvements have a firm eye on the future of travel.

On top of our smart ticketing work, our research will expand to include areas like: infrastructure for electric vehicles, technology trials like E-highways or Electric Charging Lanes, the role of connected & autonomous vehicles, HGV Platooning trials and 5G connectivity.

It is essential that our recommendations for new road and rail infrastructure take these considerations in to account, evaluate them fully and, where appropriate, integrate them in to our proposition to government.


Robin Hood smartcards registered in Greater Nottingham

40 million

Swift smartcard journeys made in the West Midlands in 2017/18

100,000+ homes & around 200,000 jobs planned

“Our active role in Midlands Connect allows us to contribute to large-scale projects we would be unable to take on as an individual highways and transport authority. Smart ticketing is a good example… and we look forward to seeing this piloted soon.”

Cllr Simon Spencer, Cabinet Member for Highways Transport and Infrastructure,
Derbyshire County Council

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Phone: + 44 (0)121 214 7119

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