Bus passengers using Bristol’s Park & Ride services can now pay for their travel by using their contactless debit and credit cards.

Local bus operator First Bristol is accepting contactless payment as part of a state-of-the-art technology trial with a full-scale rollout in Bristol expected by 2018. Contactless payment will be accepted on the Long Ashton, Portway and Brislington Park & Rides, though customers will still be able to pay by cash or the company’s mTicket smartphone app too.

“This exciting new technology increases the ways passengers can pay for their journey and brings an important added convenience to bus passengers who no longer need to worry about carrying enough change to pay for journeys,” said First Bristol managing director James Freeman. “The trial reflects First Bristol’s commitment to investing heavily in new vehicles and new technology and making bus travel more convenient and attractive.”

Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees added: “I want to see a public transport network which is more accessible and easier for everyone to use. One of the ways to help us achieve that is contactless payments. It’s vital we modernise and improve all aspects of the city’s transport services so I’m pleased to see First trialling the technology on our Park and Ride routes and I look forward to seeing a wider rollout in the near future.”

The bus company wants to make sure the system works flawlessly and that all technical issues are ironed out before rolling out the contactless payment concept to its Bristol fleet. During the trial, all contactless debt and credit cards displaying the Visa, Mastercard or Maestro logo with the contactless symbol will be accepted; and the company is working towards enabling other contactless payment methods such as Apple Pay or the Android phone equivalent in the future. First Bristol is also hoping to reduce boarding times, make its buses more punctual and speed up journey times.


Featured image: L-R, Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol and James Freeman, First bus Managing Director