Transport chiefs have unveiled an ambitious plan to make it easier for people to get around West Yorkshire.

West Yorkshire Combined Authority is looking at setting up a scheme called Mobility as a Service, a concept that sees all transport modes linked through an app or website so people can plan, book and pay for their travel using a single mobility account.

In the same way as people currently choose their cable or satellite TV subscription, Mobility as a Service will enable them to purchase ‘bundles’ of different travel services, at home or using their smartphone. Their bundle could be made up of bus and rail services, taxi, car club and cycle hire and in the future could also include driverless vehicles and dock-less bike schemes like Ofo, which is coming to Leeds soon.

Clr Keith Wakefield, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, said: “Mobility as a Service will enable people to plan, manage and pay for their travel in one place, which can help them save time and money, as well as creating savings to the ways in which the transport sector organises and provides services.”

It comes as the Authority revealed that cash is no longer king on West Yorkshire’s buses and trains.

Huddersfield bus station in Upperhead Row

A range of smart and digital options people can use to pay for their travel and the savings they can make with them has led to a marked decline in the number of cash fares.

MCard, West Yorkshire’s travel smartcard, now accounts for £30m of bus and train travel across the county each year, with people using it to make up to 400,000 journeys per week. And, people have used the free MCard app, which enables them to buy and load travel tickets anytime, anywhere, to purchase over £1m of MCard travel.

MP Thelma Walker visits Slaithwaite Station to see impact of timetable changes

Also, customers of the bus and train operators – Arriva Yorkshire First West Yorkshire, Northern Rail, TransPennine Express, Cross Country and Virgin East Coast and East Midlands Trains - can pay for their journeys using smartphones, apps and contactless cards.

Ease of ticket purchases, the ability to plan travel better in advance and access to dynamic real-time and disruption information will be key to helping the Combined Authority and its partners achieve targets to grow bus use in West Yorkshire.

These technological improvements are being supported by improved physical infrastructure including a £1m programme of investment by the Combined Authority to ease hotspots across West Yorkshire, where buses are delayed.

People can find out more about MCard and the app at www.m-card.co.uk following @MCardtravel on Twitter or visiting the MCard Facebook page.