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Pay As You Go Bus Travel FAQs

Q. What’s Pay As You Go?

A. It’s a simple, quick and ticket-free way to pay for your bus travel. Just tap your contactless card or device on the card reader when you get on the bus and tap it on the second card reader when you get off. At the end of the day, our system will do all the maths and work out the cost based only on the journeys you’ve made. The great part is we’ll cap your payments so you’ll never pay more than you need to.


Q. What’s the difference between Pay As You Go and buying a ticket using contactless payments?

A. When you use Pay As You Go, you don’t have to buy a ticket before you travel. Just tap on and tap off, and the cost of your journeys is worked out as and when you travel. This option is currently only available for adult tickets.  You can still pay using contactless for any non-Pay As You Go travel on all of our services.


Q. You’ll “cap” my payments? What does that mean?

A. A “cap” means that you will never pay more than the equivalent cost of daily or weekly ticket. And once you’ve reached the cap, the rest of your journeys that day or week are completely free. Find out about the daily or weekly caps in your area. 


Q. But how does it work out the cost?

A. When you tap on and off we automatically calculate the cost of the journey you’re taking. We then do the maths, and you pay for the travel you’ve used.  The extremely clever bit is that we keep track of all of your journeys and make sure you’ll never pay more than the price of a day ticket (or weekly ticket Monday to Sunday). 

The way the daily cap works is when you tap off at the end of every journey the cost of the single ticket is calculated and recorded. These journeys are then added up at the end of each day and you pay whichever is less - the cost of the single trips, or the daily cap. 

The weekly cap is worked out by adding up what you paid at the end of each day across the week, starting on Monday and ending on Sunday. Once the weekly cap has been reached you won’t pay anything else that week when travelling using PAYG. And then next week the calculation starts again from zero on Monday. 

Let’s use Charlie as an example: 

Charlie travels regularly on our buses but some days they make more journeys than others. When they use Pay As You Go, they're confident they're paying for what they've used and getting the best price for them. Their journey costs are worked out like this (Example costs - Single trip £3.50, PAYG Day Cap £4.50, PAYG Week Cap £15.00). 

Charlie makes three single trips. 3 x £3.50
Charlie pays = £4.50 (they hit the PAYG daily cap)
Rolling weekly cost = £4.50

Two single trips. 2 x £3.50
Charlie pays = £4.50 (PAYG daily cap)
Rolling weekly cost = £9.00

No travel
Charlie pays = £0.00
Rolling weekly cost = £9.00

One single trip. 1 x £3.50
Charlie pays = £3.50
Rolling weekly cost = £12.50

Three single trips. 3 x £3.50
Charlie pays = £2.50 (they hit the PAYG weekly cap)
Rolling weekly cost = £15.00

Three single trips. 3 x £3.50
Charlie pays = £0.00
Rolling weekly cost = £15.00 (PAYG weekly cap)

One single trips. 1 x £3.50
Charlie pays = £0.00
Rolling weekly cost = £15.00 (PAYG weekly cap) 


If Charlie had made these journeys using a combination of day and single tickets bought on the bus, they would have paid £25 in total. With PAYG, Charlie hits the £4.50 PAYG daily cap on both Monday and Tuesday, and by Friday they've hit the £15 PAYG weekly cap, meaning their journeys on Saturday and Sunday are completely free and they've saved £10. Clever Charlie, clever PAYG!


Q. What happens if I forget to “tap off”? 

A. It’s unlikely you’ll forget, as you’ll walk past the reader to tap off as you get off the bus. But, if you do, there will be an incomplete journey charge. This charge isn’t included in your daily or weekly cap so it’s important to always tap off to avoid your journey costing more.

Q. How can I check how much I’ve paid?

A. You can set up an account on the Stagecoach Bus website to check your journeys, see how your charges were calculated and check your payments. Once you’ve linked the contactless card or device you have used to travel to your “My Account” in the Pay As You Go section, you can select that card and view the journeys you’ve made and the cost. Your most recent travel might not show immediately.  


Q. I’m not sure that Pay As You Go is the right option for me.  

A. Pay As You Go is a quick and easy way for adults to pay for travel, with the knowledge that you’ll never be overcharged when you tap on and off. If you’re a young person or travelling as a group, Pay As You Go isn’t yet an option. But don’t worry, you can still buy your ticket from the driver and pay with contactless, too.


Q. Is Pay As You Go available in my area? 

A. At the moment, it’s only available in selected areas but keep any eye on our website and social media pages to stay up to date on when it will come to your area. 


Q. Do I get a ticket when I use Pay As You Go?

A. Nope, it’s completely paperless and all stored in your Stagecoach Bus account. You can see your payments on your bank statement too.


Q. Can I pay for more than one person using my device or card?

A. No, that would confuse the system. But you can pay for yourself on a contactless device such as a smart phone or watch and pay for someone else with your card, if you’re feeling generous.


Q. Can my child use Pay As You Go?

A. Not at the moment. This function is only available using adult fares.


Q. Does the money come out of my account immediately?

A. The money won’t come out after each journey as the cost is worked out based on your overall travel for a day. Once your journeys have been priced for the day, the total amount will come out of your account. 


Q. There are several payments that have come off on the same day.

A. Don’t worry, you’ve not been overcharged. It’s likely that this has happened at the weekend or on a Bank Holiday when the payments are held by the bank. If this isn’t the case, check your journeys and payments using a Stagecoach Bus Account. 


Q. Why has my payment failed?

A. This is usually an issue with your bank or, occasionally, it can be that your card has been blacklisted on our system. We can check it out for you if you get in touch.


Q. How do I question a journey/charge?

A. Go to the Pay As You Go section in your Stagecoach Bus account to check your journeys. If you’ve got a query, you can contact us.


Q. How will a bus inspector know that I’ve paid?

A. If an Inspector or other company official asks to see your ticket you’ll just need to show them the card or device with which you tapped on. They’ll be able to confirm this by checking the last 4 digits of the card number against a report from the on-bus ticket machine.


Q. Do I need to tap on and off of every vehicle I travel on?

A. Yes, you do, otherwise our system won’t be able to work out the journey that you’ve made.


Q. Do I need to use the same device or card to tap on and tap off? 

A. Yes, our system knows if you’ve used a device or a card, so it needs you to complete your journey using the same payment method. If you don’t use the same one, you’ll get an incomplete journey charge. 


Q. What type of contactless cards or devices can be used? 

A. We accept both Mastercard (including Maestro UK) and Visa cards, as long as they have the contactless symbol on the card.  We also accept payment using Mastercard and Visa on Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay so you can pay using your phone or watch.  Some card issuers don’t allow payment on public transport services, so please check with your card issuer before travel.   

Q. Can I use a card that was issued outside of the UK? 

A. Generally yes, and as long as it’s been issued by Visa or Mastercard.  Some international card issuers don’t allow payment on public transport, so please check with your card issuer before travel.


Q. How quickly will the journeys show in my account? 

A. Our system collects all your journey information and the cost is calculated overnight. You should see all journey and payments in your account the next day.  


Q. How can I see what journeys I’ve made? 

A. Go to the Pay As You Go section in your Stagecoach Bus account to check your journeys. 


Q. How can I get a receipt for my journeys?

A. You can download your statements from your account on our website. 


Q. I have a Pay As You Go query, who do I need to contact? 

A. If your query hasn’t been answered above, please contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

The quickest and easiest way to get in touch is to use the Pay As You Go contact form. If you’d like specific information about our Pay As You Go feature, check out our Terms and Conditions