Contactless smart tickets coming to UK transport network

Contactless ticketing technology will be installed on buses and trains around the UK by 2022 according to major operators.

While London buses already include terminals that allow for payment with contactless bank cards and Oyster cards, the technology could be expanded to an additional 32,000 outside of the capital.

Britain's five main bus operators, Stagecoach, First Bus, Go-Ahead, Arriva and National Express, are producing a business case for rolling out the technology before the summer, with every bus in the entire country due to be fitted with a terminal by 2022.

Train operators have also provided funding for a joint project with the card industry to explore how long-distance and season tickets can be loaded on to payment cards so passengers no longer have to print out tickets.

Transport minister Andrew Jones said: "The smart ticketing revolution is helping to build a modern, affordable transport network that provides better journeys for everyone.

"By working together, industry, city regions and Government have been able to ensure more and more people can use smart ticketing to get around.

"We are determined to continue driving progress so passengers get the quick and simple journeys that they want and deserve."

Robert Montgomery, managing director of Stagecoach, said the scheme would be mostly funded by the bus companies themselves and would be "the biggest smart ticketing project ever delivered in Britain".

He said the implementation would help to simplify travel arrangements for millions of bus passengers.

"This framework sets out how contactless payments can be used to support any journey, whether a single bus ride or a cross-country trip," Montgomery continued.

Last month, Stagecoach said it would start running nearly one third of London’s red buses on waste fat and oil by March.

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