Northern Ireland is set to get a London Oyster Card style public transport ticket system as part of a major transformation.

The £45million investment programme is yet another exciting new announcement for Northern Ireland, which promises to transform travel and hopes to lead to an increase in the number of people using public transport.

The news comes just days after Titanic Belfast was named the number one visitor attraction in Europe at this year’s World Travel Awards, and is sure to appeal to tourists and visitors considering Northern Ireland.

To ease the speed of transport and travel for individuals, exciting new enhancements will range from the likes of contactless payment cards e-purse payments like the London style ‘Oyster Card’, ticket vending machines, gated rail stations and an online app for customers to manage their accounts and top-up their smartcards.

Parkeon, a global leader in this industry, has been awarded the contract to design and deliver the new ticketing system.

Belfast city centre

Translink Group chief executive Chris Conway said: “This is a key milestone in our plans to transform public transport and make it your first choice of travel.

“We are looking forward to working closely with Parkeon to introduce modern ticketing technologies that will create easier, integrated ticketing options offering customers more choice and convenience.

Implementation is expected to start in 2018 with the new Bus Rapid Transit System.

Meanwhile, in 2019 contactless payments for Metro and Ulsterbus services are set to be introduced.

Buses in Belfast city centre

At the announcement on Monday, Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard said: “The new Programme for Government envisages increasing the number of people using public transport.

“A high quality public transport infrastructure is fundamental to encouraging people to use our buses and trains. This innovative ticketing system will deliver long term benefits and transform how we access public transport across the region.

“The current ticketing system was introduced 15 years ago and serves around 80 million passenger journeys every year. This programme will deliver a modern, efficient and convenient ticketing system that will benefit passengers and lead to greater efficiencies. It will improve the passenger experience.”

Source: Belfast Telegraph

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