05 Aug 2020

First Bus City Red services introduce fuss-free, contactless 'Tap & Cap' payments

Passengers can now enjoy unlimited travel in the Southampton Zone, automatically getting the best on-bus fare

From today, customers catching First Bus’ City Red services will benefit from fuss-free travel thanks to a new ‘Tap & Cap’ contactless payment method. This innovation will help customers to travel more safely and confidently during the coronavirus pandemic.

City Red Operations Manager Mark Lovell (L) and Managing Director Marc Reddy (R) mark the launch of Tap & Cap in Southampton

Pictured: City Red Operations Manager Mark Lovell (L) and Managing Director Marc Reddy (R) mark the launch of Tap & Cap in Southampton.

Tap & Cap adds value

‘Tap & Cap’ makes paying for bus journeys extremely straightforward. Bus users can tap their contactless bank card or a contactless-enabled device on a Ticketer contactless card reader as they board buses within the Southampton City Zone. Ticketer’s readers connect to transit payment processor Littlepay’s platform to seamlessly aggregate fares, apply fare caps and process payments.

Customers enjoy a smooth, really convenient payment experience. They are guaranteed the cheapest on-bus fare with the new ‘Tap & Cap’ day fare, launching at just £3 for a single day, no matter how often they make a bus journey within the zone. ‘Tap & Cap’ users won’t need to tell the driver their destination or wait for a ticket, which helps to reduce customer and driver interaction and speed up boarding. This enables an easier flow of customers on to buses, so they can more effectively adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Using a First Bus traveller portal provided by Littlepay, passengers using ‘Tap & Cap’ can track the journeys and payments they have made and see where they have saved. Giles Fearnley, Managing Director at First Bus said: “The launch of 'Tap & Cap' in Southampton marks another important milestone in our journey to make bus travel simpler for our customers. This follows successful launches of 'Tap & Cap' in Aberdeen and Doncaster over the last year, where it has proven extremely popular with customers.

"'Tap & Cap' gives customers the confidence to know they will always get the best value fare 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 making public transport safe and simple.”

Amin Shayan, CEO of Littlepay, said: “We have a longstanding relationship with First Bus and we are happy to see them utilising more of our technology to bring passengers added value. Contactless payments are a vital measure helping to eliminate contact with cash and ‘Tap & Cap’ is a great way of ensuring passengers access best-value fares.”

John Clarfelt, CEO at Ticketer adds: “We are committed to enabling Account Based Systems as the next generation of payment for mobility services. It’s more than just a technology; it is a new customer-relationship model that brings an incredible user experience.”

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