A Sheffield councillor has called on Stagecoach Supertram to urgently introduce contactless payments on board its trams to help curb a decline in passenger numbers using the service.
Coun Ben Miskell has highlighted frustrations from residents in his Norfolk Park ward about not being able to pay for their tram fares by card using the touch pad technology.
He says over the past 12 months both First and Stagecoach buses across Sheffield have rolled out contactless payment but Supertram, which is operated by Stagecoach until March 2024, still lags behind.
Coun Miskell said: “Many of my constituents in Norfolk Park who regularly use the tram network can’t understand why card payment isn’t possible, especially when they can pay on buses and trains using cards.
“It’s inevitably a barrier for passengers using the Supertram network and we should be doing all that we can to get people onto public transport.
“In an increasingly cashless society, it’s time for Stagecoach to invest some of their huge profits into the new technology that will let passengers pay for tickets using contactless payments.
“It’s only right that they, rather than the publicly funded passenger transport executive, should pay for the machines that would be used by conductors.”
Supertram says it is looking to introduce the new payment method next year.
Head of customer services, James Stewart, said: “We understand how important it is for our passengers to have a range of payment options available to them. As well as being able to purchase tickets through the app and online, we are currently working towards the introduction of contactless payments on board our services in 2019.”