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Swift Go travel card introduces fare capping for flexible workers

The increasing number of part-time commuters or people working flexibly following the coronavirus pandemic can now get better value on buses and trams through Swift Go.

Swift Go is the UK’s first pay-as-you-go (ITSO based) smartcard scheme to launch three-day fare capping aimed at those many hybrid workers who have now swapped their five days a week commute for spending part of their working week at home.

And fare capping, where the charge is made at the end of the day or week, means that those who suddenly need to change their plans are never overcharged or billed for journeys they have not made.

While some operators are running their own fare-capping schemes, Swift Go is especially useful for those whose flexible commute involves a combination of bus and tram company services.

The rollout of Swift Go is part of a wider campaign to reassure people who are looking to return to the workplace, or simply get out more, that public transport is both safe to use and offers great value.

Swift Go is part of the successful Swift smartcard range, developed by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) which, pre-pandemic, was used to make more than 50 million journeys a year..

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “Following the lifting of many Covid restrictions and the reopening of businesses, more people are now thinking about returning to the workplace or making those trips out.

“We want them where possible to use public transport and already many of our bus operators have cut fares to attract more passengers.

“And so knowing that many are now choosing hybrid and flexible working, we have developed one-day, three-day, and seven-day fare capping on Swift Go to ensure that they get the best possible value.”

For example, a Metro and nbus (covering almost all bus operators) three-day fare using Swift Go costs just £17.90, a saving of £2.50 over the cost of three single day tickets.

Cllr Ian Ward, WMCA portfolio holder for transport and leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “We want people to use our buses and trams where they can rather than get in the car and add to the traffic on our already congested streets.

“Not only are passengers getting better value through lower fares and products like Swift Go, but operators are keeping people safe through measures like continued deep cleaning and expecting passengers to continue wearing face coverings on board.

“For our part at TfWM, we are investing in our bus routes including the new Sprint bus due to start running on the A34 and A45 next spring and the cross-city bus route offering more reliable services between Birmingham and the Black Country.”

Swift Go works out the journeys made at the end of a week and issues the best value charge for the journeys made – whether that’s the single fare, or one-day, three-day or seven-day charge, or a combination.

Transport operators have stepped up cleaning on buses, trains and trams, as well as at stations and facilities across the network to help keep passengers and staff safe. Passengers are also expected to continue wearing face coverings when using public transport.

The introduction of lower fares comes as the WMCA ramps up the Open for Business Safely campaign to support those businesses, especially those in the hospitality and tourism sectors, which have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic.

The campaign highlights safety measures taken by firms including the bus companies, which are keeping up their strict covid cleaning regimes to give people the confidence to use them safely.