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First Bus achieves industry milestone with national contactless completion

Posted: 17th September 2018

-Today’s announcement marks the completion of First Bus installing new Ticketer machines across all its 5,800 vehicles in the UK – meaning it is the first national bus operator to offer contactless, nationwide

-First Scotland East has offered contactless since April 2018.

-The launch of contactless payments is part of the bus operator’s aim to make paying for bus travel even easier

An industry milestone has been achieved today (17th September), as First Bus has successfully completed the rollout of new Ticketer machines across its 5,800 fleet, with all its 14 operations, including First Scotland East, 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 (17th 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 barding 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.”

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