Contactless travel could be in place on every bus in Britain by 2022 under a multi-million-pound plan being developed by five major bus operators. Stagecoach, First Bus, Go-Ahead, Arriva and National Express are working together to produce a business case which is expected to be completed by late spring 2016.
“The scheme, funded predominantly by the private sector, could see new EMV contactless technology installed on every one of the UK’s 32,000-plus buses outside London,” the operators say. “It would offer cashless travel for those who want it and capped pay-as-you-go fares in all urban areas.
“Contactless transactions are already accepted on London’s 9,600 buses. This new project would complement that scheme, covering more than 1,200 bus operators in England, Scotland and Wales and making contactless travel available for 5.2bn bus passenger journeys a year across Britain.”
“This contactless initiative would be the biggest smart ticketing project ever delivered in Britain and a major milestone in providing simpler travel for the millions of people who rely on buses,” says Stagecoach UK’s Robert Montgomery, chair of the project’s steering group.
“Smart bus ticketing is already widespread across the UK, with ourselves and Go-Ahead having over 1.5m smartcards in circulation,” Montgomery continues. “We are serious about transforming travel for passengers with this initiative which would be funded predominantly by Britain’s bus companies, working in partnership with transport authorities.”
The announcement follows the unveiling of a framework by The UK Cards Association earlier this week that sets out to enable transport operators to implement contactless payments for bus and train journeys across the UK.
A further tranche of funding has now been provided by the rail operators for a joint project between the card and rail industry exploring how contactless cards and devices could be associated with long-distance train tickets or season tickets, so passengers no longer have to print out tickets.
The UK Cards Association worked with the transport industry to develop the new framework which sets out how contactless cards can be used to pay for pay-as-you-go journeys. This includes single trips, such as a bus journey, or combined travel on more than one type of transport, similar to the system in London.
„For more than a week now, ScoreRise enrolls daily hundreds of users through an innovative facial recognition interface. Enrollment takes less than a minute and it does not require presence of a human operator or video recording. And, of course, it stays fully GDPR compliant with help from Reff & Associates and Deloitte Romania.”