Plan for card payments on Sheffield's tram network still not rolled out

Long-awaited plans that would allow passengers to use their bank cards to pay for tickets on Sheffield's tram network have still not been rolled out.

By Lee Peace
Wednesday, 5th June 2019, 8:04 am
Updated Wednesday, 5th June 2019, 2:32 pm

Despite advances in modern technology, commuters are still not able to pay for tickets aboard the Sheffield Supertram with bank cards and instead must use cash.

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The issue was highlighted several months ago by councillor Ben Miskell who said a number of residents in his Norfolk Park ward had expressed their frustration at not being able to pay electronically.

Stagecoach Supertram.

He highlighted how over the past 12 months both First and Stagecoach buses across Sheffield have rolled out contactless payments but Supertram, which is operated by Stagecoach until March 2024, still has not.

Tram bosses revealed in January that passengers would be able to pay for tickets using their bank cards on board from 'early summer' 2019.

However, electronic payments have still not been rolled out on the city's tram network.

A Stagecoach spokesperson said the company is “continuing to carry out development and testing” and added: “We expect these to be rolled out on trams later this year.”

When pushed on timescales for the project's delivery, the spokesperson said they could not be more specific at the moment.

In January, Tim Bilby, managing director for Stagecoach Supertram, said: “For some time Supertram have been trying to source a portable ticket machine, with both smart and contactless payment capabilities, for use on our trams.

“There is no off-the-shelf solution that combines portable ticket machines with contactless to meet our needs, so we are currently working with suppliers to develop a solution. We hope to be able to offer contactless payment on trams and tram trains from early summer 2019.

“We recognise that more and more people are choosing to use contactless payments instead of cash and that passengers want more flexible and convenient payment options on public transport.

“We are working with South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive to improve the choices available to customers, both in terms of how they buy their tickets and how they find their travel information.

“For regular tram users, Stagecoach or Travelmaster smart products may be the best option. These products can be purchased at interchanges using debit or credit cards.”