Ticketer is starting a new pilot in partnership with First Bus to simplify their existing Tap On / Tap Off fare capping system for customers. The pilot is taking place in the First Cymru operating area of Bridgend County Borough in Wales, with the help of Transport for Wales and Bridgend County Council and will see adult customers fares calculated based on the direct distance travelled in an UK bus industry first, as the supplier says.

Still in the UK, Ticketer has already been cooperating with First Bus and Great West Railway (GWR) on a rail and PlusBus ticket.

Ticketer technology for First Bus pilot in Wales

A journey can consist of a passenger boarding multiple buses, within a 30-minutes transfer time. The passenger’s fare will then be calculated to the exact distance (nearest metre) between their first boarding and final alighting bus stop.

The pilot is running on all First Cymru’s buses in the county except for Cymru Clipper Services (their longer distance services that connect Bridgend with Port Talbot, Swansea and Cardiff), which will continue to be charged in the usual way.

Ticketer explains: “When a passenger ‘taps on’ they’re charged a minimum fare of £1.60, which covers the first 2km of their journey. If they travel further, they are charged based on the distance they travel up to a maximum of £5. That day cap is lowered the more often the customer travels across the same week, ensuring that the maximum a customer can pay for a week’s bus travel is £21 – no matter the distance they travel or the number of journeys they make. The scheme is designed to offer customers a more flexible and a ‘fairer fares’ system and has the potential not only to save them money in the short term, but to offer great value for money in the long-term. By calculating fares to the exact metre, it is a much fairer way of calculating fares for customers, especially those who may occur higher fares due to their geographical location between fare stages”.

First Bus pilot with Ticketer: simplifying fares

Simon Pearson, Chief Commercial Officer at First Bus UK, says: “This pilot has the potential to change the game in the fare capping and pricing space and is part of our nationwide rollout of Tap On / Tap Off across the UK operations. We are excited to see the results of the pilot and more importantly how it goes down with our customers. This pilot will run for an initial three months but has the potential to be extended and could be rolled out in other areas in the future if successful. As we go through the current cost of living crisis, it important to us to continue to innovate to find ways to save our customers money, and for bus to remain a great value travel option of choice for everyone.”

John Clarfelt, Ticketer’s Founder, comments: “We are really excited to have been able to deliver this truly innovative way of calculating fares for First. Simplifying fares for passengers is a key priority for us and our customers, and we are proud to have worked in partnership with First to introduce this novel approach to fares to the market.”


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