Click and go! Bus and train users in Leeds embrace digital revolution

Leeds City Station.Leeds City Station.
Leeds City Station.
Transport bosses have released new figures that underline the scale of the digital revolution taking place on buses and trains in Leeds and the rest of West Yorkshire.

Passengers in the county are now using MCard travel smartcards to make around £30m worth of journeys each year, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) revealed today.

Around 50 people every day are also downloading the free MCard app that allows travel tickets to be purchased from any Android smartphone.

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Available via the Google Play store, the app has been used to buy more than £850,000 worth of bus and train travel since its launch last year.

And, in another sign of the tech-savvy approach that people are taking to their public transport in 2018, the number of bus timetables being downloaded each month from the county’s Metro website has now passed the 600,000 mark.

The package of eye-catching figures was issued by the WYCA to coincide with the start of this year’s Leeds Digital Festival.

A spokesperson for the authority said: “Leeds City Region is at the heart of emerging digital, mechanical and financial technologies, and the growing figures showing the use of MCard smartcards for travel, of the MCard and other apps, timetable downloads and contactless payments show that West Yorkshire’s transport network is undergoing a digital revolution which passengers are embracing.”

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The WYCA says the MCard – introduced in 2014 and modelled on London’s Oyster card – is “one of the largest and most successful” schemes of its kind in the country.

People can load the cards with travel products including weekly tickets and day savers before using them to tap their way onto a bus or through a train station’s ticket gates.

The Leeds Digital Festival began today and runs until April 27.

Taking place for the third time, it features more than 150 events at venues across the city.