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  • First Bus smart ticketing programme shortlisted for global award

    First Bus, one of the UK’s largest bus operators, has been shortlisted for a global award for its smart ticketing programme.

    Over the past year First Bus has been focussed on providing customers with simpler journeys and better information through investment in digital mobile and contactless ticketing and was the first bus operator of its size to offer contactless nationally, after introducing new Ticketer machines across 5,800 vehicles. As a result, First Bus has been shortlisted for Best Smart Ticketing Programme at the Transport Ticketing Global Awards 2019. Over the last six years, the annual Transport Ticketing Global Awards has recognised and celebrated the organisations which have worked tirelessly to build, establish and deploy successful smart ticketing programmes across Europe.

    Research showed that 86% of First Bus customers had access to some form of contactless payment method and so the challenge was how to introduce contactless, raise awareness of the benefits and to change the habits of customers who have always paid with cash. Removing cash from buses will; speed up boarding times, remove the need for customers and drivers to have the correct change, deliver quicker journey times, and provide insight into purchasing habits.

    Speaking about the news, Owen Hughes, Head of Retail, said: “We are working hard to encourage more customers to convert to using mTickets or contactless. A 12-month target of 30% of all on-bus revenue through contactless payments was set, which is already being achieved in many of the operating companies, with Aberdeen (the first business to launch contactless) achieving 40%. We have recently passed 14 million contactless transactions and are seeing over 500,000 transactions a week. Use of mTickets is exceeding our expectations with year-on-year growth of over 60%.”

    Over 120 entries were received into this year’s awards and the winners will be announced in January 2019. For more information visit www.firstgroup.com.

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