News & Blog

Read the latest business news, blogs and thought leadership articles from our members, as well as updates on the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce's work in the city.

News & Blog


Posted: 29th August 2023

Lothian announced on Friday 25 August that it has recorded over 100,000 ‘taps’ in one day using its capped contactless payment method, ‘TapTapCap’.

The contactless system, which Lothian introduced in 2019, reached the milestone for the first time on Friday 18 August, fourteen days in to the Edinburgh Festival season, which traditionally sees the population of the city increase in size.

Throughout August, customers have been ‘tapping’ their bank cards or mobile devices to pay for travel across Lothian’s services, leading to faster boarding times during the busiest period for services in the city.

Sarah Boyd, Managing Director, Lothian said: “I’m thrilled that our TapTapCap system has reached this incredible milestone of over 100 thousand taps in just one day. Our buses continue to be a popular method of public transport for residents and visitors to our city during the festival, and this achievement is testament to the amazing work of our people across the business during the extremely busy month of August.

“Our contactless payment system has been a real success story for Lothian since its introduction and we look forward to breaking even more records in the future.”

Councillor Scott Arthur, Transport and Environment Convener, said: “Making travel by bus as easy as possible is key to encouraging travel by reliable, sustainable public transport.

“Lothian’s TapTapCap payment method does just that, as well as speeding up journeys, and it’s clear that lots of people want to pay that way. It’s fantastic that we’re seeing so many people choose Lothian’s excellent service this festival season.

“I know that those 100,000 trips will have been made by people who represent the full diversity of Edinburgh residents. Indeed, Lothian’s broad appeal and first class staff is why it is part of what defines Edinburgh, and why I was so proud that they won the Excellence in Transport Accessibility category at the 2023 Scottish Transport Awards.”

The capped contactless system is provided by ticketing technology specialist Flowbird, and allows customers to ‘cap’ their journeys at the cost of a discounted adult day ticket after their third tap of the day, using the same bank card or mobile device.

David Thompson, Managing Director of Flowbird’s transport division in the UK added: “It’s amazing to see that so many people at this year’s festival are taking advantage of the convenience of open payments and the benefits of fare capping. Not only does it remove the need to understand fares and carry cash, visitors have the freedom to explore the city safe in the knowledge that the fare system flexes with them. This is ideal for encouraging Edinburgh’s international and domestic visitors to use the bus network.”

The bus operator’s open payment method for customers was an instant success, smashing through one million taps within a month of its introduction in 2019. It averages over 80k journey taps per day, and has logged over 5.4 million unique users in over four years of operation. In 2021, Lothian introduced ‘Weekly Capping’ for contactless users, offering unlimited travel during the week once the fare cap had been triggered.

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
Read more here