Contactless bus payments huge success across West Yorkshire
New figures from bus operator, First West Yorkshire, have found over 4,250 bus passengers across the region are switching from cash to contactless every week.
First West Yorkshire launched contactless payments over one month ago, and since then it has recorded over 80,000 contactless transactions. The local bus operator aims to transform bus travel by encouraging more customers to make a switch to one of its cashless payment methods, which also follows a significant investment in nearly 900 new ticket machines, which allow the business to accept contactless payments.
Switching from cash to cashless payments means that customers can pay for their bus travel using their card or mobile, which will make it easier to catch the bus, as customers don’t need to worry about having the right change for their bus fare. The switch from cash also has a huge impact on boarding times; helping in the longer term to speed up bus journey times and in most cases, is more cost effective. This news coupled with other local initiatives, such as recent service changes and encouraging customers to put their weekly tickets into the ticket sleeve, instead of drivers, has all contributed towards significant improvements in punctuality of bus services across West Yorkshire.
Martin Hirst, Commercial Director of First West Yorkshire, said: “We’re pleased to see customers making the switch from paying with cash to contactless and the feedback has been hugely positive so far. Uptake of customers using contactless continues to grow each week – and in fact, West Yorkshire is one of the fastest adopters of using contactless for purchasing bus tickets, in comparison to other First Bus operations in the UK.
“Alongside contactless, we also offer customers the choice to purchase tickets in advance of boarding, via our mTickets app. Use of mTickets continues to exceed our expectations and has seen a 100 per cent year-on-year growth. We’d also urge more customers to switch to pre-paid tickets, as these are often more cost effective than buying tickets directly from the driver.
“If more customers converted to using mTickets, contactless or the MCard, then this would have a huge impact on boarding times and would help us in the battle to speed up the bus. We’ve recently made service changes to help improve the punctuality of our bus services across West Yorkshire and this, coupled with asking customers to put weekly tickets into the ticket sleeve, instead of drivers, and the launch of contactless, means that we’re speeding up boarding times and making journeys even quicker.”
Cllr Eric Firth, Deputy Chair of West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee, said: “Improving public transport is key to supporting the growth of the local economy and the creation of new jobs, and making buses easier to use through schemes such as contactless and MCard smartcards is an important part of this.
“I am pleased that since launching the Bus18 initiative with First and other bus operator last year, we have seen a range of improvements all of which have been developed to improve bus use for to make buses easy to use, to reduce emissions and to improve the customer experience.”
Contactless is a simple and secure way to pay for bus travel without needing cash. It can be used to purchase any paper tickets up to the value of £30. To use contactless, simply request the ticket you wish to purchase from the driver, present your contactless card or mobile and you’ll receive a receipt along with a ticket for your journey. Payment cards displaying the contactless logo from Visa, MasterCard or Maestro can be used. Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay and bPay are also accepted.