Merseytravel unveils travel rewards smartcard
In the UK, Merseytravel has teamed up with Uber to create a loyalty rewards programme that encourages easier and more cost effective travel for commuters in Liverpool, in the form of the new 'Walrus Card'.
Similar in concept to London's Oyster Card, the Walrus card is a smart card that allows public transport users, as well as day trippers to the city, to use a single card for all their journeys.
The card will be available for use on buses, trains, ferries, and even for coffee, and rewards will initially take the form of exclusive offers and savings from partner companies.
The Walrus Card will eventually replace several different paper tickets and passes that are currently available. The time line quoted at launch time for new developments was:
- Buses: Annual Trio 'All Zone' passes (Autumn 2011);
- Trains: Rail Pass 'All Zone' passes (Spring 2012);
- Ferries: Merseyferries/Season Tickets (Spring 2012);
- Attractions: Merseytravel Attractions tickets (Summer 2012);
- Bus and Train: Solo, Trio and Rail Pass - all zones and variations (Autumn 2012);
- Walrus Pay-As-You-Go Card: limited trial (Winter 2012);
- Bus and Train: Saveaway - all areas and variations (Spring 2013);
- Walrus Pay-As-You-Go Card: full roll-out (Summer 2013)
Merseytravel chose to work with Uber to create the card and technology platform because of the company's specific knowledge and experience in both customer relations and incentive-driven loyalty schemes.
The Uber team went out and got to know the people of Merseyside, setting up focus groups, online surveys and doing hands-on market research to get to grips with the needs of travellers around the city.
"Getting to know the customer was the real key," commented Uber's managing director, Sarah Cross. "Merseytravel was clear about its objectives, so we had those goals in mind when conducting our research and creating the programme. We're looking forward to seeing what the Walrus Card will do for the city, for Merseytravel, and for its users."
For additional information: · Visit Walrus Card at http://www.walruscard.com · Visit Uber UK at http://www.uber-uk.com · Visit Merseytravel at http://www.merseytravel.gov.uk