First West of England benefits from Tap & Cap

First’s West of England operating area is the latest to benefit from Tap & Cap technology.

‘Tap & Cap’ is a paperless system that means bus users can pay for their journey without having to ask or wait for a ticket: they just tap their contactless card or device on the ticket machine’s contactless card reader from Ticketer as they board the bus. It caps daily costs at First’s Bristol Day ticket and costs over a seven day period will be capped at First’s Bristol Week ticket price. Using an online portal provided by Littlepay, passengers will have full visibility of what they’ve spent using ‘Tap & Cap’. These type of transactions are expected to create a faster flow of customers on to buses, helping everyone adhere more easily to social distancing guidelines.

From 11 October, customers using First Bus and metrobus services in Bristol will be able to use the ‘Tap & Cap’ contactless payment method. This coincides with First also launching the ability to use Express Mode for Apple Pay. The service was piloted in Aberdeen and is now also available on First buses in Doncaster and Southampton.

Express Mode for Apple Pay means customers with Apple Pay can now pay using their iPhone or Apple Watch without the need to wake or unlock their device, open an app or use Face ID or Touch ID. For customers using Face ID on iPhone, Express Mode for Apple Pay has the additional advantage of allowing customers to keep their face covering on while boarding the bus.

The system has been rolled-out in the City with the support of the West of England Combined Authority (WECA).

James Freeman, Managing Director at First Bus West of England, said: “Delivering contactless, price-capped, daily and weekly tickets by 2022, ensuring passengers know that no matter how much they travel they won’t be charged more than a fixed amount, is one of the aims of the Bus Deal we entered into with WECA and Bristol City Council, so I am delighted we are delivering on this for Bristol ahead of schedule. WECA’s support has been invaluable in this, ensuring that metrobus customers can also benefit from Tap & Cap.

“It also marks another important milestone in our journey to make bus travel simpler for our customers using innovative technology and partnerships. Tap & Cap has already been launched in Aberdeen, Doncaster and Southampton where it has proven extremely popular with customers. It gives customers the confidence to know they will always get the best value fare when they buy on board and makes our buses more accessible than ever, at a time when customers need access to increasingly flexible options to meet their changing travel requirements. Combined with the recent updates to our app, our new Space Checker tool and our pilot of pre-bookable services in the West of England, First Bus continues to be at the forefront of continuing to make public transport safe and simple.”

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