Travelling around Nottingham is about to be made easier and cheaper with the new pay-as-you-go Robin Hood smartcard.
Available from Robin Hood Network Ticket Machines from Monday 14 December, the card will create a hassle-free way of getting around Greater Nottingham on bus or tram – even when using different transport operators.
As part of its introductory first phase, the smartcard will run on buses and trams to ensure everything is working properly across the network. The Robin Hood card will be valid for travel on Nottingham Express Transit (tram), Nottingham City Transport (NCT) – including Pathfinder and South Notts buses –Kinchbus, Trent Barton and the City Council’s Linkbus network (including park and ride) within Nottingham.
In 2016, other retail outlets such as travel centres, newsagents, web and tram stops will come on line. More Robin Hood Network Ticket Machines will also being added. The new system has had a £2.5 million investment from the Department for Transport’s Better Bus Area Fund and the Local Sustainable Transport Fund.
The Robin Hood smartcard will work like London’s Oyster card – customers can add money to the card to pay for bus and tram fares. Passengers will always know they are paying less than the standard daily rate: 10% cheaper than a day ticket when paying with cash. The Robin Hood card itself is free and the fares are set by the transport providers.
It is the first scheme of its kind outside London, where the Oyster card has revolutionised the way people get around the capital, and has come about through a partnership between the City Council and local transport providers.
To use the card, a customer will present it to a smartcard reader once for each trip made. On bus services, this will be the reader on entering the bus. To use the tram, the Robin Hood card should be touched on to the validator on the platform. It’s easier and quicker, too, because passengers only need to scan as they get on their bus or tram, not when they get off. This is important to prevent being charged twice.
Councillor Nick McDonald, Portfolio Holder for Growth, Jobs and Transport at Nottingham City Council, said: “This is a really exciting development and further underlines our commitment to providing a world-class public transport system for Nottingham. An integrated travel card of this type has never been done before outside London and I’m delighted that we’ve been able to work with our commercial partners to make it happen.
“The Robin Hood card offers a flexible way to pay for travel across participating company services and guarantees to be the cheapest way to move around the area without using a season card. It is a crucial part of providing integrated ticketing in the city to make travelling by public transport as easy and appealing as possible.
“We hope that other bus companies and East Midlands Trains will be on board soon. The Robin Hood card will be valid over the Greater Nottingham area, from Arnold to Ruddington, and from Netherfield to Beeston, so will be great for occasional public transport commuters and for shoppers and visitors to the city.”
A single trip on one day will be £1.70 with any operator. Unlimited day trips can be made for £3.15 from any one given operator or £4.00 for more than one operator. The minimum top-up on the card will be £10.
Over the next year it is planned to introduce weekly fare capping, out-of-the-area travel and child and student cards.
More information can be found on the website www.robinhoodnetwork.co.uk