Höft & Wessel AG

Hoeft & Wessel successful with new compact TVM in the UK

Almex UK provides Merseytravel/Liverpool with stationary ticketing system

The Hoeft & Wessel Group has succeeded in winning an order for ticket vending machines (TVM) from Merseytravel, the Passenger Transport Executive for the Liverpool City Region. The public transport operator has opted for the new compact model almex.midi, which will be installed at the ferry stations, Liverpool airport and other transport hubs around the region and the machines will feature as part of Merseyside´s integrated ticketing vision for passengers using the transport network.

The new slimline machines (only 68 cm wide) have been designed with the passenger interface in mind, and include a touch screen, support all modern means of payment including ITSO compliant contactless smart cards. Braille and LED guidance features add convenience and comfort for all public transport passengers. The units will be easily recognised around the city, as they will carry Merseytravel´s unique livery.

One of the key reasons for the choice of the Almex machines was their proven robustness, with many machines already successfully operating in northern Germany and Scandinavia in waterside locations; in Hamburg, Almex machines are operating both at ferry terminals, but also on the ferries themselves. The machines will further complement the investment made in the new state of the art Pier Head terminal.

The almex.midis are equipped to accept the existing national concessionary smartcards and the new regional ITSO smartcard scheme planned for the Merseytravel operating area, where Almex on-bus ticket ITSO compliant electronic ticket machines will also soon be operating.

The Almex brand has been present in the UK for several decades, and this contract further confirms its position as a leader in the supply of ticketing systems for buses and trams and stationary outdoor ticket vending machines, which it has been supplying across the continent for more than two decades.

Liverpool is the cultural and business hub for the Merseyside region, and was recently the European City of Culture. The river Mersey is a broad expanse where it passes through the Beatles´ city of Liverpool and flows into the Irish Sea. So broad, in fact, that the ferries operated by the public transport company Merseytravel cross the river over a 100 times a day to meet the mobility needs of its passengers.

The "Ferry, cross the Mersey" immortalised by Gerry and The Pacemakers´ song cost half a penny back in 1957. Today, a single ticket costs around GBP 1.50 (about EUR 1.80). Soon customers will not be needing cash if they want to cross the river, as the new almex.midis will allow payment by chip and pin, and in the near future, use of the Merseytravel regional smart card scheme. Coin and banknote users have not been forgotten and traditional users will enjoy the enhanced braille and LED supplemented interfaces.

In the UK Almex has supplied thousands of driver operated ticketing systems, almost all of them within ITSO schemes. In Europe, the Almex division is a leading manufacturer of ticketing and telematics systems for public transport and check-in solutions for the airline industry. More recently, Almex has been making mobile GSM-Rail communications systems available for shunting and construction operations.