New ticket vending machines are being installed by Transport for Wales (TfW) on many of its routes across the Wales and Borders network, and barriers are being reworked to accept smartcards.
This new technology and contactless option for customers will enhance safety measures in the fight against Covid-19 as well as making travelling easier.
Some stations such as Tir-Phil and Hengoed now have ticket retail facilities for the first time. Others like Bridgend have had their old machines replaced with modern ticket machines that have improved Welsh Language components and raised pictograms for visually impaired customers. New machines have already been installed at nearly 20 stations, including Cardiff Central, Penarth, Rhymney, Bargoed and Pontlottyn.
In addition, the new smartcards, which customers can use to collect the season tickets they have purchased online, can now be used on more than 20 routes including Cardiff to Shrewsbury, Wrexham to Bidston and Swansea to Milford Haven. Smart cards can be used to buy weekly, monthly and annual season tickets.
Supporting this change, platform validators have also been installed at Penarth, Dingle Road, Barry and Barry Island. These are being rolled out to Rhymney line stations with a view to installing them across the entire South Wales Metro network.
From 10 August 2020, these validators will be live for customers to load season ticket orders onto their smart cards – TfW hope to add further functionality to the platform validators over the coming months.
James Brooke, director of customer integration at Transport for Wales Rail Services said: “We are pleased to be investing significantly in smart technology to make it even easier for customers to buy and collect their tickets before they board.
“And by expanding our Smart card availability to weekly, monthly and annual tickets on more routes, we are giving our customers as many options as possible to buy their tickets.
“We’ve had to work hard to ensure these investments can still take place despite the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, to give more customers the ability to buy their tickets via contactless than ever before.”