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20 Oct 2016
(Pictured: Stagecoach Oxfordshire managing director Martin Sutton with
Cllr Ian Hudspeth, leader of Oxfordshire County Council)
Bus passengers using Stagecoach services in Oxfordshire can now pay for their travel using state-of-the-art contactless technology, it was announced today (22nd October 2016).
They are amongst the first bus passengers in the country outside London to benefit from the new system, which allows customers to pay with contactless credit or debit cards.
Contactless is now live on all Stagecoach buses across Oxfordshire as well as Oxford Tube, Europe’s most frequent express Coach service linking London 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Combined, these services carry around 20 million passengers a year.
New dedicated ticket machines have been installed on the fleet of around 180 buses and coaches.
Thousands of bus passengers a day will be able to benefit from the new technology, which will help speed up boarding and mean customers don’t have to carry cash.
Martin Sutton, Managing Director at Stagecoach in Oxfordshire, said “Contactless is a fast, easy and secure way for customers to pay for bus travel. We’re delighted Stagecoach customers in our region are amongst the first bus passengers outside London to benefit from this new technology.
“We know from our research that one of the issues that can put people off using the bus is not knowing the fare in advance or being worried about having enough change in your purse or wallet to make the journey. Contactless takes that problem away.
“More of our customers are using contactless cards to pay for coffee, sandwiches and many other day-to-day activities. Transport is a key part of people’s lives and this is another great reason for people to choose greener and smarter bus travel.”
The move was welcomed by Transport Minister Andrew Jones at a launch in Oxford. He said: “Buses make vital journeys possible every day, and this government is doing everything it can to improve services. The roll-out of contactless payment technology on Stagecoach bus services outside London will help hundreds of thousands of passengers. People will be able to buy tickets online and on smartphones, making bus travel more convenient, cutting queues and speeding up journeys.”
The new contactless system is the latest multi-million-pound investment by Stagecoach in new digital tools for bus passengers to make it a more attractive and stress-free option than commuting by car.
Last year, Stagecoach launched a new ‘mobile first’ website with improved information for customers. In October, the company also launched a new smartphone app, allowing customers to track their bus in real time and plan their favourite journeys. Mobile ticketing is also being rolled out across the country through the app in the months ahead and Stagecoach has pledged to roll out contactless payments on its buses across the UK by the end of 2018.