Great Western Railway (GWR) is to launch a smartcard for the Severn Beach Line, as part of a pilot which could see combined rail and bus travel in a single ticket offered across Bristol.
Allowing people to add weekly, monthly and annual season rail tickets to an electronic card to begin with, the pilot project is being run in partnership with Bristol City Council and if successful could form part of a wider, integrated scheme, including MetroWest, and local bus services.
Bristol City Council Councillor Mark Bradshaw said, "This investment is good news for passengers using Temple Meads and the Severn Beach Line with more gates to help ease congestion, equipped with new ticket readers making smart payment for local rail travel a reality.
“Piloting the smartcard on the Severn Beach Line and Temple Meads is a big step forward for Bristol. It will also help us move towards comprehensive and convenient smart ticketing across the bus network; local rail network and on Metrobus.
“I recently visited the GWR smart ticket team in Swindon delivering the pilot. Together with the newer trains arriving this year, the Severn Beach Line, which carries well over one million journeys per year, is getting a much-needed boost."
The smartcard, to be known as ‘touch’, will enable both adults and children to add weekly and season tickets (monthly through to yearly) to their card using their online account, or at a smartcard enabled ticket vending machine. While carrying the same branding as the First Bristol, Bath and West bus touch smartcard, bus tickets will not initially be available to be added to the GWR touch card.