A PROTOTYPE bringing the equivalent of London’s Oyster card to the West Midlands has begun trials in Solihull.
Centro, the region’s transport authority, has teamed up with Rotala buses to launch the Signature card, allowing passengers to pay fares electronically for the first time. They will also enjoy a cheaper fare compared to paying by cash. The technology is being road-tested on Rotala’s Signature services in and around Solihull – the S2, S2A, S3, S4, 30 and 82.
Passenger feedback and the performance of the technology will be closely monitored as part of an on-going evaluation.
Geoff Inskip, chief executive of Centro, said: “This is a massive step towards our aim of eventually rolling out Smartcard technology for all bus users across the Centro region.”
Ian Pollard, commercial manager of Rotala, said: “We feel the Signature card is the start of something positive for passengers in the area. Initially it offers passengers the opportunity to make savings against cash fares and have the convenience of not finding relatively small amounts of cash for each journey.”
Passengers will be able to place their pass on a card reader as they board the bus, which will deduct the fare from the pre-paid sum held in its memory. A ticket is then issued in the normal manner.
The holder will pay a flat fare of £1.60, giving a cheaper and simpler alternative to paying for a single journey using cash.
This can be paid for online at www.signaturebus.com/card or from Centro House in Birmingham and at Centro Travel Shops.