Simpler and more flexible rail travel in South East England with tap-in tap-out expansion
Passengers in the South East of England can look forward to improved train travel as tap-in tap-out ticketing expands to 53 additional stations by the end of 2023, allowing for easier, more flexible and convenient journeys.
The UK government has announced that it has allocated £20 million in funding to enable tens of thousands of passengers to conveniently use their bank cards or smart devices for tap-in travel across 53 additional rail stations by the end of 2023, automatically ensuring that they receive the best available price for their journey.
Already operational at over 350 stations across London and the South East, pay-as-you-go has been a success, prompting the collaboration of Transport for London (TfL), C2C, Southeastern, South Western Railway, London Northwestern and Chiltern Railways to increase the total number of tap-in tap-out stations in England to over 400.
This initiative aligns with the government’s commitment to simplify and modernise fares and ticketing across the railway network, encouraging more people to use trains and supporting economic growth.
Rail Minister Huw Merriman said: “By removing the stress of finding the best deal in advance or having the right ticket ready to go at the barriers, the extension of tap-in tap-out ticketing is the next step of our plan for rail reform and we’re working towards Pay As You Go being rolled out beyond the South East through the Midlands and up to the North.”
Pay As You Go has gained popularity in London, with over 75% of pay as you go journeys now made using contactless cards or mobile devices. The Department for Transport (DfT) plans to extend this system to the Midlands and the North through devolution deals with Greater Manchester and the West Midlands. Manchester is working on a pilot scheme for its first contactless payment system on the rail network, subject to government agreement and funding.
Shashi Verma, Chief Technology Officer at TfL, said: “We are delighted to be delivering this expansion of Pay As You Go with contactless to a further 53 stations across the South East for the Department for Transport (DfT), helping to share our experience in smartcard ticketing with the wider rail industry. This will help those traveling by rail outside London do so more flexibly and conveniently, and support the wider UK economic recovery through easier access to rail travel.”
Pay As You Go ticketing will be gradually introduced at all stations by December 2023, with specific openings dependent on the existing technology infrastructure. The government aims to modernise the rail system, simplify ticketing and boost the economy by enabling easier access to rail travel.
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