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  • Smart travel developments

    MCard - largest travel smartcard outside London

    As part of the MCard development programme, West Yorkshire Combined Authority has just introduced MCard top-ups at 38 West Yorkshire rail stations. 

    Other developments that will be available later this year include money-saving carnet tickets - a modern-day smart version of a ‘Saver Strip’ – for bus travel, more kiosks for topping up cards, mobile phone top ups, MCard sales at rail stations and ‘pay as you go’ travel. We are also investigating a pilot scheme to enable people to us their mobile phone as a smartcard.

    People can currently get MCards and load travel products onto them at over 700 Payzone stores across West Yorkshire or from Bus Stations Travel Centres. To date there has been over £7m in MCard sales through Payzone.

    Cards can also be ordered online and we will be rolling out online top ups in 2016/17.

    Pre-paid travel

    MCard can be used for pre-paid travel on all scheduled bus and rail services in West Yorkshire. It can be loaded with weekly and monthly travel tickets for just buses, or buses and trains, within West Yorkshire and there are specific cards for Annual travel, young people, those aged 16 – 25, students and business use.

    Because it is valid on all bus services, MCard holders whose journeys involve using more than one bus company’s services, or whose route is served by more than one company’s buses, can save money on operators’ exclusive tickets and avoid having to wait for the ‘right’ bus to come along. It’s also more convenient, removing the need for people to carry change for individual fares and enabling them to ‘touch on’ on buses and at certain rail stations.

    500,000 users

    There are currently around 100,000 MCard holders making it the largest travel smartcard system outside London. The numbers of travel smartcard users in West Yorkshire rises to approaching 500,000 when you include senior, disabled and blind people with English National Concessionary Scheme passes.

    Over 1.1 million smartcard transactions take place on West Yorkshire’s buses and trains, over 30% of all bus transactions are now ‘smart’ and half of all Elland Road Park and ride customers use smartcards.

    Over 95% of West Yorkshire’s buses have smartcards readers and there are smart ticket gates at Leeds stations main and new southern entrances, as well as at Bradford Interchange and Huddersfield stations.

    Coming up

    As with any system of this kind there will be problems and we do encourage anyone who experiences difficulties using their MCard on a bus or train, or topping up at a Payzone store to let us know so that we can follow up with the service operator or individual store.”

    More details are available from the MCard website (opens in new window).