Merseytravel is launching a smarter way to travel the region – the ‘Walrus’.
Walrus is the name of a new Smartcard which will allow public transport users, as well as day trippers to the city, to use a single card for all their journeys.
Neil Scales, Chief Executive of Merseytravel, said:
“This launch signals a revolution in the way people pay for and use public transport.
“I believe Walrus will play a fundamental role in encouraging and inspiring local people and visitors to fully enjoy the economic, cultural, heritage and leisure experience this area has to offer, and in time become an important part of the identity of the region.
“Walrus will see the widest range of uses of any Smartcard in the country being fully integrated into all our varied forms of transport and ticketing, ultimately saving our customers time and money.
“We are aiming towards a network where people pass seamlessly through our stations and ferry terminals, while also being able to board buses and even buy a coffee.
“In London less than 2% of public transport journeys are paid for in cash, and while cash will always be an option, Walrus will be a far more convenient option for customers, drivers and operators alike.”
Cllr Mark Dowd, Chairman of Merseytravel, added:
“Walrus is a fun, playful brand name which we hope people take into their hearts, while at the same time embracing the benefits.
“I am incredibly proud of Walrus and the hard work that has gone into developing not only a fantastic brand, but more importantly a brilliant product that will benefit the travelling public of this region.
“This is the first card of its type in the UK, encompassing both transport AND non-transport related products, and I believe this will revolutionise the way we travel in and enjoy this fantastic region and all it has to offer.”
Walrus is launching this weekend with the first products switching to the Smartcard versions.
Passengers who renew their annual all-zone Trios will now receive the Walrus card instead of the paper version we currently issue.
From Spring 2012 further products will be converted, with the full “pay as you go” card available from Summer 2013.
Walrus is based on the specifications of the government backed ITSO standards allowing interoperability of smart ticketing schemes throughout the UK.