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UK-first as trentbarton leads with contactless

Alongside our sister operator Kinchbus, we are rolling out the UK's first truly tap-on tap-off contactless payment for a region's bus travel. 

We are investing £2.5 million in around 350 tap-on, tap-off terminals for our fleets after trialling the system from pioneering UK provider Ticketer on the skylink Derby routes 11 vehicles. 

During the two-month trial, one in five customers opted to pay with their contactless debit or credit cards. Our customer research found that 80 per cent of customers have a contactless card. 

With more than 40 million customer journeys each year, a similar 20 per cent take up across both networks would see an average of more than 20,000 contactless payments made each day. 

Our managing director Jeff Counsell said: "One in five is a huge number annually, but we only expect contactless to increase its share of payments over time.

"This is especially true for our system which, uniquely for a UK bus company, automatically charges the lowest possible fare given where customers get on and the stop they get off at. This beats the flat charge levied by other operators.

"With daily caps too, our customers will have confidence that they are getting the best possible value for money every time they tap on and off a Kinchbus or trentbarton service."

Kinchbus services will be first to see contactless rolled out across its fleet this summer, followed by trentbarton by the autumn. 

Using the GPS tracking on board each bus, the system was developed by Berkshire based technology firm Ticketer with our help. 

John Clarfelt, managing director of Ticketer, said: "We are delighted that the trial of our tap-on tap-off terminals, working together with Littlepay, was such a huge success for trentbarton and Kinchbus. 

"Our ticket machines are the first in the UK to guarantee passengers pay for their actual journey, rather than a pre-scheduled ticket. They are also easy to use, passengers simply tap on with their contactless credit or debit card, then tap off as they disembark. 

"They no longer need to state their destination or ticket type to the driver. We are so pleased that yet another of our innovations is making it easier for everyone to travel by bus."

Jeff Counsell said: "For decades we've been at the forefront of developing innovation in bus travel, including the vehicles, the all-round experience, the real-time information, attractive branding and outstanding levels of service by friendly drivers. 

"By adding contactless in this more sophisticated and customer-centric way, whilst still accepting other methods of payment, we are creating more choice. It is innovations such as this which will encourage more people to choose bus travel."

Customers who travel contactless will be able to see their journey history, trip charges and how close they are to their day cap through our website. 

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