FirstGroup, the UK’s largest bus and rail operator, has announced it will invest £27 million in contactless ticketing technology for its 5,000 plus bus fleet throughout England.
The company says they intend to be the first bus operator outside of London to accept contactless credit and debit card payments, which will be introduced across England late 2012.
The system will also accept ITSO smart cards, which FirstGroup will introduce later this fall, as well as NFC payments via mobile phone.
New payment terminals will be provided by Swindon-based Almex, part of Hoeft & Wessel Group, under an £18m contract from FirstGroup.
FirstGroup’s UK Bus division carries approximately 2.5 million customers a day in more than 40 major towns and cities. The new ticketing technology will be implemented to all of First’s services in England, including Manchester, Bolton, Oldham, Wigan, Stoke, Northampton, Leeds, York, Halifax, Huddersfield, Bradford, Leicester, Portsmouth, Southampton, Plymouth, Bristol, Ipswich, Norwich, Slough and Bracknell.