Manchester

Metrolink tram users overpaid £78k under contactless system

Metrolink tram
Image caption A new contactless payment system was introduced on the Metrolink in July

Tram passengers have overpaid £78,000 under Metrolink's new ticket system by failing or forgetting to "tap out".

One passenger Darren de Vally said he was overcharged twice after contactless payments were introduced on 15 July.

He put a Freedom of Information request into Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) which revealed nearly 700 people a day overpaid in the first 10 days.

TfGM said it was "not about raising revenue" and passengers would be refunded "where appropriate".

Caught out

Mr de Vally, 32, said: "Simply forgetting to tap out once could mean one day travel costs you up to £11.60 [instead of £7].

"The first time I forgot to tap out I thought I would get capped at the standard £7 charge, but when I checked, I'd been charged £8.

"I queried this... and was refunded."

However, a few days later he said he could not find a card reader to "tap out" as he ended his journey.

"I was overcharged again. I went to TfGM to sort it out but was told I was only allowed one refund."

He said he was "shocked" at how many other people told him they had been caught out by the new payment system and submitted a Freedom of Information (FOI) request.

"A woman told me she went overdrawn due to the charge, got fined by her bank and had to resort to a food bank," he said.

Image copyright Family photograph
Image caption Darren de Vally said it was "unfair to penalise people who are honest and not fare evading"

Mr de Vally has also set up an online petition calling for TfGM to include incomplete journey fees in the daily cap.

"It's so unfair to penalise people who are honest and not fare evading," he said.

TfGM customer director, Stephen Rhodes, said: "This is not about raising revenue - we want to ensure people pay the right fare... which is why we are working with customers to refund any additional charges where appropriate."

He said approximately £44,000 had already been refunded to customers.

"We have emphasised the importance of touching in and out every time you travel in our customer information and marketing - and why we are working hard behind the scenes to look at ways to reduce incomplete journeys in the future," he added.

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