How widespread is contactless payment on UK buses?

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telstarbox

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(Outside London) how widespread is the facility to pay for a single fare using a contactless card? Do most Arriva or Stagecoach services offer this for example?
 
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johncrossley

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(Outside London) how widespread is the facility to pay for a single fare using a contactless card? Do most Arriva or Stagecoach services offer this for example?

Most operators outside London accept contactless, but only as a way of buying a paper ticket. It is not like London where the card itself is the ticket. A few companies like Metrobus, Brighton and Hove and NX West Midlands accept contactless like they do in London.
 
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All Arriva buses in my area (Kent & Surrey) have Ticketer ETMs that accept contactless payment as a method of payment, and is preferred in these times.
 

Man of Kent

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Most operators outside London accept contactless, but only as a way of buying a paper ticket. It is not like London where the card itself is the ticket. A few companies like Metrobus, Brighton and Hove and NX West Midlands accept contactless like they do in London.
True, though the card-as-ticket method does not cater for children's fares (unlike London, the majority in the country do not get free travel) or family tickets and other products, which is a regular gripe about the NX West Mids scheme. The model adopted by Metrobus/Brighton & Hove allows both approaches.

In answer to the original question, even many small independents now accept contactless. The number that don't is reducing all the time, and as far as I know, all corporate groups and municipals already do, with the possible exception of Warrington - their website doesn't make it clear.
 

johncrossley

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True, though the card-as-ticket method does not cater for children's fares (unlike London, the majority in the country do not get free travel) or family tickets and other products, which is a regular gripe about the NX West Mids scheme. The model adopted by Metrobus/Brighton & Hove allows both approaches.

In answer to the original question, even many small independents now accept contactless. The number that don't is reducing all the time, and as far as I know, all corporate groups and municipals already do, with the possible exception of Warrington - their website doesn't make it clear.

The buy from the driver method wastes time and should only really be used for a very small minority of tickets. Children would be better served by using smartcards or mobile tickets.
 

Pit_buzzer

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First have contactless payment in Doncaster. Its a flat fare of £2 per journey with a daily cap of £4.70 and also a weekly cap of £16.50. It works very well
 

trentside

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The largest operator I can think of round here that don’t accept contactless is Centrebus but only on vehicles that are based at Grantham depot.
 

route101

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Lothian have contactless, you pay for a single and don't get a ticket. Daily capping.
First Glasgow have contactless but you get a ticket, no capping.
 

scotrail158713

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Lothian have contactless, you pay for a single and don't get a ticket. Daily capping.
Lothian provide the best of both worlds I'd say. You can use contactless for capping, where your card is the ticket, but you can also pay for various different tickets, where your card is the payment method and you get a paper ticket.
 

Mikey C

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Most operators outside London accept contactless, but only as a way of buying a paper ticket. It is not like London where the card itself is the ticket. A few companies like Metrobus, Brighton and Hove and NX West Midlands accept contactless like they do in London.
The first time I paid by contactless this way outside of London, I assumed it was like the London system and had to be called back by the grumpy driver to collect the paper ticket :D
 

route101

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Lothian provide the best of both worlds I'd say. You can use contactless for capping, where your card is the ticket, but you can also pay for various different tickets, where your card is the payment method and you get a paper ticket.
I see, last time I asked for a day ticket and never got a ticket, just the daily capping.
 

py_megapixel

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Stagecoach has I think close to 100% coverage with contactless payment - however, it's not the same as London; you are still buying a paper ticket but just happen to be using a card to pay for it.
 

Jordan Adam

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Tap and Cap is being rolled out by First in a number of locations. West of England has it across their business and I think Doncaster, Southampton and Aberdeen also have it.
Indeed, First Aberdeen were the first in Scotland to roll it out, with Lothian Buses following the week after.
 

johntea

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Arriva have had the facility for a while now but it took an embarrasingly long time to roll out for a major operator!

Transdev have 'Tap on, Tap off' but oddly it doesn't currently support a simple return journey, also the readers for it seem oddly placed on the bus (unless you can 'Tap on' using the driver contactless pad you would have to walk straight past the driver to do it!)
 

73001

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All Merseyside bus routes have the ability to pay using contactless but you still get a paper ticket.
 

scotrail158713

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Indeed, First Aberdeen were the first in Scotland to roll it out, with Lothian Buses following the week after.
There's just a 4 day difference, however it was actually the other way round. I only remember because I think there was discussion on here about whether or not Lothian rushed their introduction of contactless, with only capping available, in order to be able to make this claim. :) (First in Aberdeen I think had contactless available as a payment option already)

From 24 July, our services will accept contactless payment with daily fare capping – a first for Scotland.

Introduced on 28 July, the system will automatically select the cheapest on-bus fare available based on the number of journeys a passenger makes.
 

Hophead

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Blue Star are promising tap-on / tap-off with daily capping by the end of the month.
 

Jordan Adam

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There's just a 4 day difference, however it was actually the other way round. I only remember because I think there was discussion on here about whether or not Lothian rushed their introduction of contactless, with only capping available, in order to be able to make this claim. :) (First in Aberdeen I think had contactless available as a payment option already)



First Aberdeen introduced it on the 21st not the 28th. Contactless was launched in early 2017.
 

busken

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Reading Buses accept contactless, Smart watch, Smart phone, pre paid card, Reading Buses app and even cash!
 

Deerfold

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Arriva have had the facility for a while now but it took an embarrasingly long time to roll out for a major operator!

Transdev have 'Tap on, Tap off' but oddly it doesn't currently support a simple return journey, also the readers for it seem oddly placed on the bus (unless you can 'Tap on' using the driver contactless pad you would have to walk straight past the driver to do it!)
Though Burnley only followed 2 years after other depots (just over a year ago). Annoying as I live on a road served by 4 Keighley buses and 2 Burnley buses each hour and so have not used their automatic capping system as I didn't fancy having to miss abus to be able to use it.
 

185143

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True, though the card-as-ticket method does not cater for children's fares (unlike London, the majority in the country do not get free travel) or family tickets and other products, which is a regular gripe about the NX West Mids scheme. The model adopted by Metrobus/Brighton & Hove allows both approaches.

In answer to the original question, even many small independents now accept contactless. The number that don't is reducing all the time, and as far as I know, all corporate groups and municipals already do, with the possible exception of Warrington - their website doesn't make it clear.
Warrington definitely take contactless on the CAT branded routes, don't think they do on anything else though. It's very poor really, though they do have an app that sells day tickets-at least.
 

Mikey C

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Apart from the security aspect of reducing cash on board buses (which clearly creates a robbery risk), surely all bus companies would want to encourage the use of contactless for Covid safety purposes?
 

telstarbox

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You would think so but having dealt with some independents for tendering, some don't see the value in futuristic concepts like "an email address" or "marketing"
 

markymark2000

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According to the Merseytravel contactless page all buses in the Liverpool City Region do and the 329 is definitely in that.
Ahh, ok. I Link didn't used to accept contactless so it was quite a quiet change which wasn't announced.


On the topic of unannounced companies who now accept contactless, Aintree Coachlines/Helms of Eastham, Pats Coaches and M&H Coaches all take contactless.
 

73001

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Ahh, ok. I Link didn't used to accept contactless so it was quite a quiet change which wasn't announced.


On the topic of unannounced companies who now accept contactless, Aintree Coachlines/Helms of Eastham, Pats Coaches and M&H Coaches all take contactless.
Yes, I think it was a LCR commitment so I expect there may have been some assistance in getting the appropriate technology for everyone.
 

Cesarcollie

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You would think so but having dealt with some independents for tendering, some don't see the value in futuristic concepts like "an email address" or "marketing"

Contactless machines are in excess of £2500 each plus extra annual licence fees. And then there’s a commission charge from the chosen card company on every transaction. Add to that that most local authorities award tenders to the cheapest bidder (and contactless acceptance is not a tender requirement) ...... so why would they?
 

Deerfold

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Contactless machines are in excess of £2500 each plus extra annual licence fees. And then there’s a commission charge from the chosen card company on every transaction. Add to that that most local authorities award tenders to the cheapest bidder (and contactless acceptance is not a tender requirement) ...... so why would they?
Which contactless machines are that expensive? If the ticket machine ones are that expensive, it shouldn't be too expensive to have the card reader separate and tell the ticket machine it's a cash transaction.

You can get a card reader for £60 running on batteries or usb power (special offers take that down to £20 at the moment) with fees under 2%. With pricier machines you can get lower fees.
 
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