TRAM chiefs are to sign a deal this week which will see new ticket machines fitted across the route at a cost of nearly £1.2 million.
Vending machines will be installed at 48 locations to allow passengers to purchase tickets before boarding the vehicles when the network is up and running.
The award of the contract is the final significant deal to be let for the project, and is part of the overall £742m budget.
There are 16 stops along the route, with a machine of either side of the road, and a large bank of eight machines is planned for passengers at Edinburgh Airport.
There is also expected to be a series of machines at Haymarket.
Councillors will be asked to approve the contract with Parkeon, which manages machines for Lothian Buses, with an annual maintenance charge of £186,000 a year for five years.
Lothian Buses already operates a series of machines, but most passengers pay on boarding the bus. Tram chiefs were not able to use the existing machines to print tram tickets, although Edinburgh Trams and Lothian Buses tickets will be interchangable. Lesley Hinds, the city’s transport leader, said the signing of one of the final deals was a demonstration of how the completion of the project is finally on the horizon.
She said: “This contract is significant, not only because it will provide an integrated system for the city’s public transport network, but also because it’s the last significant contract to be let for the tram project.
“With testing now underway on the eastern side of the route and all contracts in place, I’m happy that things are progressing well and, along with the project team, I’m looking forward to a productive and successful 2013.”
A paper on the contract will be presented to councillors at the full council meeting on Thursday. As the Evening News revealed last month, passengers will still have the option of buying tickets from on-board tram conductors like on the ScotRail network, rather than being automatically penalised.
Bylaws, detailed in full on the council website, also included fines of up to £1000 and year-long bans for passengers they break any of the rules on a new list.Drinking alcohol, playing music too loudly and wearing offensive T-shirts is also included. The tram project continues to run in line with the revised budget of £742m, approved by the council in September 2011.