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Passengers in West Yorkshire look set to be using a London-style
Oyster card smartcard for some bus journeys by the end of the
Over 60s with an English National Concessionary Pass who use
Transdev's Keighley & District services will be taking part in
a pilot and demonstration of the cards, which still bear the
working title Yorcard, scheduled to start in December.
"Developing smartcards for Yorkshire has been a highly complex
long-term technical project for Metro and its partners but their
introduction will mark a significant improvement for local
passengers," said Cllr Lewis.
"By 2014, when they will have been
introduced across the whole West Yorkshire bus network, they will
make using public transport hugely more convenient for passengers.
Also with fewer people needing to pay cash for individual tickets,
they will helping to improve the punctuality of bus services by
reducing boarding times."
Metro will be organising information sessions in Keighley for
people likely to be included in the pilot.
At a meeting today the West Yorkshire Integrated Transport
Authority's Executive Board approved the development of a programme
of repayable or lease arrangements to help bus operators install
the card readers on their vehicles.
"Because the rate at which we can roll out of the scheme depends
upon the cooperation of the bus operators and how quickly they
install the card readers, we are keen to help speed up the process,
said Metro Chairman Cllr James Lewis. "The major bus operators are
starting programmes to equip their vehicles with smartcard readers
and install other equipment but we want to make sure that the
smaller companies are part of the scheme as well."
To enable the system to be used on local train services, the
need for Smartcard readers will be written into the franchises for
local rail services when they are renewed.
When the scheme is fully introduced, passengers will be able to
charge up their cards, online or at a network of retail outlets
such as Travel Centres, with cash to be used for journeys across
West Yorkshire and beyond. The cards can also be used to show the
concessions to which people are entitled, which is how they will be
used for the first pilot scheme in the Keighley area.
At the meeting the ITA Executive Board also approved the
expenditure of £1.11m Department for Transport grant funding
to complete joint work with South Yorkshire Passenger Transport
Executive on the Yorkshire-wide project.