Pre-payment cards introduced on region’s buses.
Catching the bus is now even easier following the launch of the Swift Pay As You Go card.
Passengers no longer need to root around for change thanks to the Swift smart card that now allows them to load cash on the card and then buy single, return and day tickets. Pay As You Go can now be used on all buses in the region including National Express West Midlands and National Express Coventry services as well as 22 other operators in the region. The Swift smartcard has been identified as a priority by the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority, which sets transport policy and strategy across the region.
Centro is its delivery body, overseen by the Transport Delivery Committee. Cllr John McNicholas, the chair of the TDC, said: “We have delivered a smart ticket that will revolutionise bus travel in this region. Rolling out PAYG will open up the Swift card to passengers as never before, delivering Oyster-style benefits that give a convenient and secure way of getting around the West Midlands cheaply and easily.”
Peter Coates, managing director of National Express West Midlands, the region’s largest bus operator, said: “Pay As You Go Swift cards will make it even cheaper and easier to use the bus. I speak to dozens of customers every day and many tell me that the improvement they want most is better and easier ways to pay, that is what this new Swift card delivers.”
PAYG is used in the same way as cash but is cheaper as many operators offer a discount of more than 10%. Passengers load cash onto their Swift PAYG card and use it to buy single, return and day tickets on bus.
Cards can be topped up online through a passenger’s Swift account, or by visiting one of 250 PayZone outlets across the West Midlands and a Network West Midlands Travel Centre. They can also be topped up online by using one of 100 Swift card collector machines at bus stops across the region, or by using the Swift card android app available from the Google Play store. For technical reasons it is not available on Apple products.
PAYG has a minimum top up of £10 and a maximum of £50. A card is not restricted to use by one person and can be shared with friends and family. Swift PAYG can also be linked to a credit or debit card to activate an Auto Top-Up which means it will never run out of credit. Each time the PAYG balance falls below the Auto Top-Up trigger of £10 it will automatically top-up your credit with the amount you choose (£20, £30, or £40).
As well as PAYG, a Swift card can also be used for weekly and monthly travel passes, available for bus and Midland Metro that can be stored on a Swift card. Cards can be registered online so they can be refunded if lost or cancelled when stolen.
PAYG can currently be used on bus and from January on the Metro. It cannot be used on rail although there are plans to expand Swift smart ticketing on to the network in 2016.
WMITA chairman Cllr Roger Lawrence said: “I am delighted that Swift now offers Pay As You Go to passengers. Smart ticketing is a service that makes bus travel simple and even more accessible, and it’s easier than paying with cash as it removes the hassle of having to rummage around for the right change.”
For more information about Swift go to www.swiftcard.org.uk/swift-card.aspx