New figures from bus operator First South Yorkshire have found that 2,100 bus passengers across the region are switching from cash to contactless, every week.
First South Yorkshire launched contactless payments for its singles and day tickets over one month ago, and since then it has recorded over 42,000 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 follows a significant investment in nearly 400 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 makes 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.
Allan Riggall, Head of Commercial at First South 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 we expect this figure to continue to rise once we add the option to purchase weekly tickets onto our ticket machines later this year.
“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.
“If more customers converted to using mTickets or contactless, then this would have a huge impact on boarding times and would help us in the battle to speed up the bus. We are determined to transform the experience for all our customers and I am delighted that technology is now able to deliver so many benefits for our passengers. The combination of journey planning, free wi-fi, real time information, contactless and mTickets, really does make the bus an increasingly attractive option for so many journey needs.”
Ben Gilligan, Director of Public Transport at South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) said: “We know that customers value the ‘turn up and go’ experience of bus travel, but they also value flexible payment methods, and ways of paying when they might not have cash to hand. Contactless payments offer another way to pay, alongside smartcards and mobile tickets, and it’s good to see so many customers making use of this new service from First.
“First’s investment builds on previous work by operators across South Yorkshire’s four bus partnerships to help make bus travel an attractive, sustainable and environmentally-alternative to the car.”
Contactless is a simple and secure way to pay for bus travel without needing cash. It can be used to purchase single or adult day 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.
For more information on the payments options available across First South Yorkshire buses visit www.firstgroup.com.