The system will run alongside existing methods of payment and is said to be a fundamental first step towards Mayor Burnham's 'Our Network' vision for an accessible public transport system across the region.
Customers already have the option to purchase a ticket using contactless cards at existing ticket machines but the new system will make things even easier as it will not require you to buy a ticket or download use the app. You simply tap in and tap out using any contactless back car when entering and exiting the tram. The system will then work out the correct fare and deduct the correct payment directly from your bank account.
Just like London's Oyster system, there is expected to be a daily cap, although what limit that is has not been announced as yet. It is thought that the cap will be in line with the relevant adult 1-day travel card, which currently is around £7 across all four of the network's zones.
With the plan set to roll out on the 15th of July, it is said that it will help to improve access to jobs, leisure and education across Greater Manchester.
Metro Mayor Andy Burnham, said:
“On Monday we opened applications for Our Pass and today I’m pleased to be able to announce that contactless will launch on Metrolink on 15 July.
“These initiatives are the first of many on our journey towards the integrated, London-style transport system we want to see here.
“Contactless payments on Metrolink in particular will be a major boost for many people, including commuters and the millions of visitors we get every single year.
“It is something people visiting London will already be familiar with and will make travel by tram easier, and improve access to jobs, leisure, skills and education opportunities across Greater Manchester.”
The new Our Pass travel card announced by the Mayor on Monday, has received a mixed reaction on social media, with some criticism's voiced over both the schemes choice in sponsor (JD Sport) as well as the Mayors failure to secure funding from the travel companies and colleges as was promised as part of the schemes original pitch.
The GM Mayor has asked for an additional £1m in funding from increases to council taxes across the region to cover the shortfall.
This has lead to some suggesting that the tax payers are being used as cash cows, with increases being levied to fund Burnham's plans.
Regardless, our view is that this is a much needed first step towards a future unified cross platform travel card/system for Greater Manchester.