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Catching the bus and train in West Yorkshire and the Leeds City Region has never been simpler.

18 April 2018

Catching the bus and train in West Yorkshire and the Leeds City Region has never been simpler.

Customers of the main, local bus and train operators – Arriva Yorkshire First West Yorkshire The Keighley Bus Company, Northern Rail, TransPennine Express, Cross Country and Virgin East Coast and East Midlands Trains - can now pay for their journeys using smartphones, apps and contactless cards.

Arriva Yorkshire passengers can use the company’s m-ticket through their smartphone, First West Yorkshire customers can download the company’s mobile app and use it to buy tickets before they travel, any day and people can use their contactless bank card, Apple Pay, and Google Pay on The Keighley Bus Company services.

Northern has a free mobile app that its customers can use to plan train journeys and buy tickets and TransPennine Express passengers can buy an e-ticket and download it straight to their phone. CrossCountry has website, mobile site or app e-Ticket delivery options, Virgin has introduced the Travel Buddy app and East Midlands Trains also has a mobile app.

People can find links to

on the Combined Authority’s Metro travel information website.

Mobility as a Service

Looking ahead, West Yorkshire Combined Authority is investigating the concept of Mobility as a Service, which it sees as an important components of transport provision’s future. Mobility as a Service links all modes together through an app or website that enables users to plan, book and pay for their travel through a single mobility account, providing an easy alternative to the private car.

People will be able to purchase ‘bundles’ of different travel services, at home or using their smartphone, selecting their package of transport options in a similar way to they choose their cable or satellite TV subscription. The bundle could be made up of bus and rail services, taxi, car club and cycle hire and in the future could also include driverless vehicles and dock-less bike schemes like the Ofo one coming to Leeds soon.

An innovative approach such as Mobility as a Service that enables people to plan, manage and pay for their travel in one place can help them save money and can also generate cost efficiencies in the transport sector through new ways of organising and providing services including the potential for crowd funded services.

A West Yorkshire Combined Authority spokesperson said: “With local companies and universities, including Harrogate-based bus operator Transdev and the University of Leeds’ Institute of Transport Studies, leading the development of these emerging digital, mechanical and financial technologies, across the Leeds City Region will be at the heart of huge changes in the way that transport services are provided over the coming decade, and in the best place to take advantage of them.”

Pioneered

While various forms of touchless ticketing have quickly become the norm for travel, it was pioneered in West Yorkshire by passengers on The Keighley Bus Company’s Shuttle 662 between Keighley, Bingley, and Bradford who took part in a trial that enabled them to use their smartphone phone as a travel pass.

By communicating with beacons at stops, their smartphones calculated the length of their journey and calculated the fare. And, by keeping track of the journeys made over the day and the week the system was able to 'cap' the fares ensuring the customer got the best value ticket.

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