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Merseytravel launches Walrus card
19 Sep 2011, 18:12
The transport authority has launched a new style credit card-sized travel pass with an aim at taking the hassle out of travelling on public transport.
The card, known as Walrus, is the name of a new Smartcard that is similar to the Oyster card used in London.
Neil Scales, chief executive of Merseytravel, said: "This launch signals a revolution in the way people pay for and use public transport. I believe Walrus will play a fundamental role in encouraging and inspiring local people and visitors to fully enjoy the economic, cultural, heritage and leisure experience this area has to offer, and in time become an important part of the identity of the region.
"Walrus will see the widest range of uses of any Smartcard in the country being fully integrated into all our varied forms of transport and ticketing, ultimately saving our customers time and money. We are aiming towards a network where people pass seamlessly through our stations and ferry terminals, while also being able to board buses and even buy a coffee.
"In London less than 2% of public transport journeys are paid for in cash, and while cash will always be an option, Walrus will be a far more convenient option for customers, drivers and operators alike."
Since 2008, Merseytravel has researched and worked on the new technology and gained a £2.2m grant from the government towards implementing the system across Merseyside.
Merseytravel said last year that technology which reads an electronic chip inside the card will eventually be installed on all buses and at rail stations in Merseyside as well as on Mersey Ferry terminals.
Walrus will be launched this weekend with the first products switching to the Smartcard versions.
From Monday, passengers who renew their annual all-zone Trios will receive the Walrus card instead of the paper version Merseytravel currently issues.
From spring next year, Merseytravel said further products will be converted, with a full pay as you go card available from summer 2013.
Walrus is based on the specifications of the government backed Integrated Transport Smartcard Organisation standards.
Details of how much Merseytravel is investing in the scheme was undisclosed.
- Anyone interested in registering for further information, visit Merseytravel's Walrus card website here
coo coo coo tuubbbe…
Cool! Why can't Manchester have one? Vested interests by Stagecoach et al? How to milk the maximum out of your customers and still call it 'public' transport... Well done Merseytravel, you lead the way.…