An industry milestone has been achieved today (17 September), as First Bus has successfully completed the rollout of new Ticketer machines across its 5,800 fleet, with all its 14 operations now offering contactless as a payment option.
Today’s announcement makes First Bus the first bus operator of its size to offer contactless nationally. Since June 2017 the business has been working with Ticketer to install new ticket machines across the country and today (17 September), First Manchester has switched on the ability to offer contactless as a payment option for its customers, meaning that First Bus offers contactless, nationwide.
Contactless payments mean that customers can switch from paying with cash to using their card or mobile; making it even easier to catch the bus. The switch from cash to a ‘digital’ payment also has a huge impact on boarding times; helping in the longer term, to speed up bus journey times.
Giles Fearnley, Managing Director of First Bus, said: “We are immensely proud to announce that we are the first national bus operator to have successfully rolled out new Ticketer machines across our entire fleet and we have already achieved 9 million contactless transactions since launching last year. Our entire focus is on improving our customer’s journey experience and contactless is a key milestone in delivering on this objective."
“The introduction of contactless payments alongside our focus on digital ticketing means that paying for bus travel is more convenient and simpler than ever before. If more customers switched from cash to a ‘digital’ payment method, then this would help to speed up bus boarding times and will therefore make overall journeys quicker."
“Delivering innovation will truly transform the bus industry, as we continue to focus on successfully delivering a reliable and value for money service for our customers.”
John Clarfelt, Managing Director at Ticketer, adds: “First Bus placed enormous pressure on, and faith in, us to deliver new ticket machines with contactless across their fleet in such a challenging timescale. The fact that today all First Bus passengers nationwide have access to the real benefits of using contactless is a milestone for the industry, and testament to the teamwork between First Bus, Ticketer and Littlepay throughout the project. It is a very proud day for everyone involved.”
FirstGroup has grown to become a leading transport operator in the UK and North America. Every day on both sides of the Atlantic we are relied on to connect communities, making it easier for millions of people to live their lives. Every one of our 100,000 employees works hard to deliver vitally important services for our passengers. Each year two billion passengers rely on us to get to work, education, to visit family and friends, and much more.