Stagecoach to introduce contactless payment technology across bus network
Britain's biggest bus operator has announced plans to introduce contactless payment technology across its network by the end of 2018.
Stagecoach said the £12 million project will enable passengers to pay for their journeys using contactless debit and credit cards, Apple Pay and Android Pay.
The technology will be available on all of the company's 7,200 local buses in Britain.
The first stage of the roll-out was completed in Oxfordshire on Thursday, with 180 buses now able to accept contactless payments, including Oxford Tube express services which run between the city and London 24 hours a day.
Stagecoach said it is the first major deployment of the technology on Britain's buses outside of London.
Passengers in Ashford, Kent, and Tyne and Wear will be able to use contactless cards by the end of the year, with Greater Manchester following in January.
Stagecoach insisted t here will be no additional charge to customers.
Robert Montgomery, managing director of Stagecoach UK Bus, said: "Bus travel is experiencing a complete transformation.
"Major investment by Stagecoach in new digital technology is making it easier than ever to catch the bus.
"From contactless technology and new apps to greener vehicles with the latest environmental performance, buses are the simpler, smarter and greener mobility solution.
"But to maximise the benefit of this investment, we also need bold and urgent action by transport authorities to tackle the scourge of road congestion that is holding back bus reliability."
Transport minister Andrew Jones said: "The roll-out of contactless payment technology on Stagecoach bus services outside London will help hundreds of thousands of passengers.
"People will be able to buy tickets online and on smartphones, making bus travel more convenient, cutting queues and speeding up journeys."
Stagecoach is also working with other major bus operators to install contactless technology on all of Britain's 32,000 buses outside London.