Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, Andrew Jones MP, helped Reading Buses launch a new contactless payment option for bus travel on the operator’s services in and around the Berkshire town.
As the main bus operator in the town, this will form the UK’s first town-wide contactless bus network outside of London which means all residents in the borough will be served by a bus accepting the bankcards.
Said Martijn: “Once again we are delighted to bring a number of firsts to Reading. We have been working hard and investing in upgraded ticketing systems, with our supplier Ticketer and payment services provider CreditCall, to get contactless launched across our entire Reading town network – something that we believe we are the first to do outside of London.
“Contactless is the final part of our new ‘three part’ digital ticketing strategy which includes the use of ‘QR’ barcodes on paper tickets - with readers installed on the buses - cutting down the amount of waiting time as people simply scan as they board rather than waving their ticket at the driver.
“The Reading Buses app forms the second element which has integrated journey planning, live bus tracking and mobile tickets, all on one platform, which again uses barcode technology – and has already been hugely successful with customers.
“All this builds upon a highly successful ITSO smartcard ticketing scheme which was one of the first in the UK at the time when launched back in February 2011.”
Against a backdrop of Reading Buses ‘even more ways to pay’ message, Martijn set out that customers can now enjoy a multitude of ways to buy their tickets whether in advance or on the day.
He said: “Our exact fare policy, whilst important for safety and speeding up boarding times, can catch out new users. Our app will always offer the best available fares, most of which are even cheaper than paying on the bus.
“But, at the same time, contactless offers a great way for new or occasional users to pay on the day without the hassle of the exact fare or needing to download the app.
“Whilst we recommend that our regular customers download the app for their tickets, with period tickets of up to 30 days now available, and to stay connected with live travel information, our successful simplyBus smartcard will still continue to provide great value and service. These are available both online for the best fares or from our bus shop in the Broad Street Mall.
“For occasional travellers, our saver 10 smartcards provide another way to save without needing to know how often they will travel, so there really is something for everyone – with the added advantage of even more ways to pay.”
Andrew Jones MP said: “The roll-out of contactless payment technology on Reading’s bus network is great news for the many passengers every day who use them around the town. I’m delighted to see Reading Buses giving travellers the choice to pay for their journey using a smartcard, contactless payment card or phone, making bus travel more convenient, cutting queues and speeding up journeys, as well as ensuring they get the cheapest fare.”
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