Contactless bus travel for Stagecoach UK network by the end of 2018
Stagecoach says it will deliver contactless bus travel on all of its regional bus services across the UK by the end of 2018. The £12million initiative will allow passengers to pay for their travel with a contactless credit or debit card, as well as Apple Pay and Android Pay.
Stagecoach launched the first stage of the project with contactless travel for Stagecoach’s 180 buses in Oxfordshire. This covers Oxford city services, commuter routes into Oxford and Oxford Tube express services which run to and from London 24 hours a day.
The facility will be rolled out to Ashford in Kent and Tyne and Wear by the end of this year with Greater Manchester following in January 2017, covering a further 1,300 buses.
By the end of 2018, the technology will be live on all of Stagecoach’s 7,200 buses in England, Scotland and Wales.
Stagecoach has ordered 4,000 ticket machines, covering more than 50 per cent of its bus fleet, with the remaining 3,200 machines scheduled for 2017-18. It stresses that there will be no additional charge to customers for using contactless as a means of payment.
“Bus travel is experiencing a complete transformation,” says Robert Montgomery, managing director, Stagecoach UK Bus. “From contactless technology and new apps to greener vehicles with the latest environmental performance, buses are the simpler, smarter and greener mobility solution. But to maximise the benefit of this investment, we also need bold and urgent action by transport authorities to tackle the scourge of road congestion that is holding back bus reliability.”
Transport Minister Andrew Jones supported the move: “The roll-out of contactless payment technology on Stagecoach bus services outside London will help hundreds of thousands of passengers. People will be able to buy tickets online and on smartphones, making bus travel more convenient, cutting queues and speeding up journeys.”
Around 76 million contactless cards are now in issue in the UK, and £929.8million was spent in the UK in October 2015 alone using a contactless card. Contactless transactions are already accepted on London’s 9,600 buses and commuters in the capital were responsible for about 1 in 10 of all UK contactless payments in December 2014.