Bus passengers will soon be able to pay for their tickets with contactless payment options, thanks to the introduction of new Ticketer ticket machines on all First Manchester vehicles.
Contactless payments will mean that customers can switch from paying with cash to using their card or mobile, which will make it easier to catch the bus, as customers will not need to worry about having the right change for their bus fare.
The switch from cash will also have a huge impact on boarding times, helping in the longer term to speed up bus journey times.
For customers looking for even more convenient ways to buy bus tickets, First Manchester also offers mobile tickets via its mTickets app.
These tickets can be purchased in advance of boarding the bus and, in most cases, are cheaper than buying tickets directly from the driver.
Ian Humphreys, managing director of First Manchester, said: “The introduction of contactless payments alongside our success with mobile ticketing is pivotal as we continue to make bus travel a convenient, simple and attractive experience for our customers.
“Use of mTickets is exceeding our expectations and continues to grow daily, so I fully expect customers to welcome and grasp contactless bus travel with the same enthusiasm.
“If more customers converted to using mTickets, contactless or the Get Me There Smartcard, then this would have a huge impact on boarding times and would help us in the battle to speed up the bus.”
He added: “We are determined to transform the experience for all our customers and I am delighted that technology is now able to deliver so many benefits for our passengers.
“The combination of journey planning, free WiFi, real time information, contactless and mTickets, really does make the bus an increasingly attractive option for so many journey needs.”
Transport for Greater Manchester Committee chair, Cllr Mark Aldred, said: “We want to make travel easier and more attractive in Greater Manchester and the introduction of contactless technology is a great way of doing this.
“Buses play a vital role in keeping Greater Manchester moving, accounting for three in every four journeys made on public transport, so anything that removes a potential barrier to travel – such as the need to have the right change to pay for your ticket – is of course good news for passengers.
“I welcome any initiative that encourages more people to use buses and experience the many benefits offered.”
Contactless is set to launch across the First Manchester bus fleet by October 2018.
Contactless is a simple and secure way to pay for bus travel without needing cash. It can be used to purchase any paper tickets up to the value of £30.
To use contactless, simply request the ticket you wish to purchase from the driver, present your contactless card or mobile and you’ll receive a receipt, along with a ticket for your journey.
Payment cards displaying the contactless logo from Visa, Mastercard or Maestro can be used. Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay and bPay are also accepted.