First Bus team up with Ticketer to launch innovative new Tap On Tap Off system for fares with pilot in Wales.
Innovative new pilot aimed at capping fares based on distance travelled in industry first.
The pilot could be rolled out in other regions if successful.

First Bus have embarked on an innovative new pilot in partnership with Ticketer 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 (as the crow flies) to make a journey for the first time in an UK bus industry first.

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.

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 ‘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 higher fares because their geographical location between fare stages.

Simon Pearson, Chief Commercial Officer, First Bus UK said:

“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 bus remains great value as a travel option of choice for everyone.”

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.

This new innovation was developed, through collaboration between First Bus central commercial teams and ticketing retail partner Ticketer.

John Clarfelt, Ticketer Founder, added: “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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