ACT customer, Merseytravel, has announced that its Walrus smart card, underpinned by ACT’s Cloud Ticketing Service, has reached its ‘one million tickets sold’ milestone.
Please see Merseytravel’s press releasebelow for further details.
Merseytravel’s smart ticketing scheme – already the most active outside London – has reached a major milestone with a million tickets sold on Walrus cards since they launched in November 2014.
It is estimated that more than 40 per cent of new UK smart cards issued during the last 12 months have been Walrus cards.
Tickets currently available in ‘smart’ format are pre-paid weekly and adult four-weekly Solo tickets which can be used on any bus across Merseyside, and Saveaways – the off-peak day ticket for buses trains and ferries.
Walrus cards can be ‘loaded’ at around 800 PayPoint outlets across Merseyside, which has more than doubled the number of places from which Saveaways can be purchased and has significantly increased the availability of Solos, which were originally available from only 50 outlets.
There are plans for more tickets to go ‘smart’ on the Walrus card later this year including some commercial operators’ weekly bus tickets, subject to the ‘Bus Alliance’ – a partnership between Merseytravel, Arriva and Stagecoach – being formally agreed.
Also in the next 12 months, there are plans for popular Merseyrail tickets to move to Walrus and for the introduction of carnet tickets for bus travel. These will allow people to load a number of tickets on their cards for use on non-consecutive days, making them particularly suitable for part time workers who may not get the best value out of weekly tickets.
Overall, Merseytravel and operators are seeking to transform the approach to tickets and ticket buying in the Liverpool City Region. The focus remains on making the process more convenient, utilising technology and simplifying the zonal system and price structures where possible.
Longer term the aim is to build on and help shape the work of Transport for the North to develop a common approach to smart ticketing across the North.
Cllr Liam Robinson, Chair of Merseytravel said: “To go from no commercial smart ticketing scheme to one million ticket sales in just 15 months is incredible.
“What makes it even more of an achievement is that Walrus has been available right across Merseyside for less than a year, with Saveaway – the first ticket to go smart – on a Wirral-only trial up until March 2015.
Walrus is now the most active smart ticketing scheme outside London, yet we are still very much in the infancy of what is possible. Working with operators, we will, this year, broaden the ticket choice available, hand in hand with simplifying fare structures and zones to make it easier for people to tell whether the ticket they are buying is the best value for them.
“Our progress and achievements with Walrus to date will feed into the work being carried out by Transport for the North to ultimately aid seamless travel across the North.”
Andrew Jones, Transport Minister, said: “The success of Merseyside’s Walrus card shows customers value smart ticketing that makes their lives easier. We will continue to support Merseytravel as they increase the range of tickets available on the card this year.
“Smart ticketing is a key part of our plan to build a Northern Powerhouse and the Walrus card is a shining example that I want to see other areas follow.”