, 14 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
I'm about to go to the NEC. I have Birmingham's transport smart card. It is the best possible system within UK law. It is going to be hard.
I wrote here exactly how hard it is. I have to choose some mix of 7 "public" transport companies to go a few miles. tomforth.co.uk/faresdata/
The journey begins. I have my swift card. This is the best system possible for a big city in the UK. TfWM are good.
This bus came. The third bus company that runs this route. Driver didn't know how to sell me "a day ticket that works on the train".
So I got this bus. I asked for "a day ticket that works on the train" but the driver sold me a national express only day ticket. Standard.
It's a paper ticket. Swift Card PAYG is just for paying. Manchester tried to move beyond this, which is why you've read about their issues.
The bus I'm on has an app too. But it doesn't sell tickets. And it only lists its own tickets. Not competitors or multi-company tickets.
Anyway, I'm on the bus now. And in traffic. Because Birmingham. The paper ticket for the bus is in my wallet to get home with tonight.
Got to New Street. There were ten options for a ticket to the NEC. I opted for an all-operator one. But I can't understand the restrictions.
And of course the Swift Card PAYG doesn't work with trains. So three more pieces of paper for me. Paid by credit card.
A reminder that this is the best possible system within UK law. You can't do better. I explain why here. tomforth.co.uk/taptopay
So if you read that piece about Manchester's smart card and blamed Manchester, and not the UK government in London, you made a mistake.
The only thing that will fix this properly is sovereignty & regulation. The UK's cities must take back control of transport from London.
Without that we'll stay poor, stay low-skilled, and remain a drain on the UK state.
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