Travelling on Chester ’s Park and Ride service will become even more convenient for thousands of passengers with the launch of a new payment and ticketing system from Monday, October 31.
To mark the launch of the new system, during the first seven days, 200 passengers per day will be randomly selected to take their journey for free. The system will select passengers at random to receive a free ticket for the Park and Ride that day.
The new ticketing payment system will allow for more customers to be served during busy periods through a choice of easy to use, fast and reliable payment options including contactless payment, chip and pin with debit or credit cards. This reduces the need to carry cash, although cash payment is still an option.
The system incorporates the latest Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) security technology, integrating vehicle sensors and licence plate recognition cameras.
Parking only is also possible at the sites and the charges are £3 for up to six hours and £5 for over six hours.
Tickets for frequent users will be available for purchase at each site as usual. The new barcoded bus tickets need to be scanned each time you board or leave the bus using the new ticket readers (validators) located near the driver cabin on the bus.
Existing pre-paid books of tickets can be exchanged for a new valid ticket using the onsite ticket terminals.
The council’s cabinet member for economic development and infrastructure, Cllr Brian Clarke said: “The advanced technology makes travel easier and will enhance security at our Park and Ride sites. The new system allows the use of debit and credit cards, so not having any change will no longer be a problem.
“Don’t forget to scan your ticket when you enter and exit the bus, so the ANPR system is able to recognise your car registration number and open the barrier when you leave the Park and Ride site.
“Customer assistants will be on site for the first few weeks, to support the launch and provide customer friendly advice on using the new system.
“At just £2 per day, our Park and Ride service is amongst the cheapest in the country.”
The service uses a fleet of 12 brand new buses with features including climate control, free 4G wifi, free USB charging, “air chill” climate control, premium quality seats, designed for superior passenger comfort and the latest enviro-clean engine technology.
Services were re-routed earlier this summer to operate cross-city and offer a choice of stops in addition to the city centre.
CCTV (capable of providing high quality images) is also in use, covering the interior, exterior and entrance area of the vehicle for customer safety and security.
Online pre-pay accounts will be phased in at a later date, allowing customers maximum flexibility to simply drive in, complete their return bus journey and drive out with ease.
More information about the council’s Park and Ride sites is on the council website: http://www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk .