Smart ticketing planned to enable Manchester’s Bee Network buses


Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has signed a contract with Ticketer to provide new smart bus ticket machines across the region to support the delivery of the integrated Bee Network.

The electronic ticketing machines (ETMs) will initially be rolled out to the region’s bus network for the first franchised services coming into operation in Wigan and Bolton and parts of Salford and Bury from September.

Together with pole-mounted readers, which allows users to seamlessly pay via contactless cards, ETMs will unlock quicker boarding times while ensuring passengers can travel knowing they are getting the best possible price.

Automatic vehicle location (AVL) equipment including improved GPS tracking will also be installed onboard buses, allowing TfGM to provide accurate up-to-date travel information for customers, including across digital journey planners and displays at bus stations and interchanges.

This will reduce the amount of hardware that needs to be installed on buses, while also providing opportunities for operators to reduce energy consumption through advanced monitoring on electric vehicles.

“Ticketer’s on-bus ticketing services will provide a convenient and flexible way for customers to pay for journeys on buses with further integration planned that will connect up and simplify payment across all forms of public transport,” says Vernon Everitt, transport commissioner for Greater Manchester. ““It will also help us to provide enhanced accurate, real-time travel information, keeping people up to date and opening up access to more choices for journeys by public transport.”

Both the ETM and AVL systems will undergo rigorous testing ahead of 24th September, when Greater Manchester will run its first locally controlled bus services since deregulation in 1986.

Go North West will operate two large franchises, with Diamond running seven smaller franchises, across Wigan, Bolton and parts of Salford and Bury.

“We are committed to supporting TfGM improve the customer experience on buses, promoting a unified approach across the region with multiple payment methods and providing real-time information for passenger travel,” says Andreea Reardon, group chief product and technology officer at Ticketer.

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