Merseyrail set to introduce tap-and-go ticketing technology

Steve Rotheram

Tap-and-go technology will be rolled-out on Merseyrail from this autumn.

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority is introducing the system on the region’s rai network to increase contactless payments and make it easier for passengers to travel.

Arriving in two phases, tap-and-go will be available at all Merseyrail stations for passengers using a Metro Card linked to their bank account from autumn this year.

The second phase will launch in 2025 and see passengers able to use their bank card, or devices such as phones or watches, without the need for a MetroCard.

Passengers will need to tap in at the beginning and end of their journey to ensure a lowest price fare promise – capped daily and weekly through the smart system.

They will also still be able to buy season tickets, as well as daily and return tickets from rail stations and online via the Metro Portal if they wish.

The move is part of plans to inject almost £10m in revolutionising public transport ticketing across the Liverpool City Region, reinforcing Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram’s commitment to provide a London-style transport system making journeys smoother, quicker and more affordable for all.

Steve Rotheram said: “Travelling on public transport should be simple, especially when it comes to how people pay for their journey. Yet, the reality is that our current ticketing system is no longer equipped to meet the demands of a growing 21st century city region like ours.

“I understand people’s frustrations about the current system and that’s why we’ve been working towards introducing a more simplified ticketing structure, but increasing public demand has meant that we’re now accelerating our plans.

“By upgrading our current paper ticketing with a new and improved smart system, we can make it easier and quicker for people to get from A to B. The tap-and-go, contactless system we’re introducing will unlock so many benefits for our region, removing the need for unnecessary queues, ensuring that no one spends more than they need to get around our region – and protecting revenue streams for further investment in improvements.”

He added: “London shows how well it can work – and I want to build a similar system in our area that makes ticketing easier, quicker and cheaper and, most importantly, works in favour of passengers, not profit.”

Merseyrail recently came under fire after footage of an altercation with a commuter and its staff went viral nationally.

The passenger had, legitimately, bought tickets online but was confronted at the ticket barrier because the current system does not recognise online purchases, and still requires a physical paper ticket for travel.