With financial support from the County Council, bus operators in Hampshire are, for the first time, investing in contactless payment technology. Stagecoach has unveiled the first of their 395 buses fitted with the cash free option for passengers to hop on the bus as quickly and easily as possible.
Councillor Rob Humby, Executive Member for Environment and Transport at Hampshire County Council, said: “Modern ticketing technology means people can catch the bus without bothering about having the right change, or, in fact, any money on them at all. As passengers board buses quicker, this speeds up bus journey times and also means less waiting for others on the road as buses pick up passengers at bus stops.
“With free WiFi on board, audio/ visual next stop announcements, USB charging points on new buses, and now contactless payments, bus travel in Hampshire offers an up-to-date, comfortable and reliable travel choice – as bus journeys in Hampshire buck the national trend and journey numbers continue to rise.”
Edward Hodgson, Managing Director at Stagecoach South, said “The introduction of contactless is yet another demonstration of the practical improvements bus operators are making for passengers. This is a new fast, easy and secure way for customers to pay for bus travel and complements the many other technology solutions we have introduced recently.
“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.”
As a result of additional Government funding for bus travel, the County Council has been able to support operators to bring forward investment in technology improvements for passengers. This means a total investment of over £1.6 million has been made in Hampshire buses, speeding up the installation of contactless technology in 2017.
By the end of this summer, around 900 buses in Hampshire will be fitted with contactless payment facilities. In Hampshire 31,507,986 bus journeys were made during 2016/2017, an increase on 31,422,811 in 2015/2016, which was a 20% rise on the total number of journeys ten years before.