First Bus has introduced “London-style” contactless tap-on, tap-off (TOTO) payment technology across its buses in West Yorkshire, alongside a restructuring of its fares, which will take effect from Monday 13 December.
The technology has been installed on First West Yorkshire’s fleet of approximately 900 buses at an investment of £850,000. First reckons it is the biggest roll-out of TOTO outside the capital.
The TOTO payment system offers new flexibility on fares. Customers who make several bus trips each day on First West Yorkshire services will now pay a maximum of £5.20 on day one, with further reductions the more they travel during the week.
The changes are in aid of ambitions set out in West Yorkshire’s Bus Service Improvement Plan submitted in October and are designed to encourage more bus travel after the pandemic.
Ticket prices will be consistent across West Yorkshire, enabling travel anywhere in the region with the same ticket. Monthly and annual tickets will now “relate more closely to the average cost per trip” of other formats, according to the operator.
Says Martin Hirst, Commercial Director of First West Yorkshire: “The introduction of TOTO is another important step in simplifying journeys and will pave the way to an all-operator integrated system in the future.
“Our customers want a more personalised approach, with a cost related to paying for what they use, and a pricing system designed around their journey not operational processes, which has been the traditional approach to fares planning.
“Our new fares will encourage new users and those making infrequent journeys to see the great value of bus travel. Regular customers have more options to fit their travel needs and the majority will be able to take advantage of a reduced fare against what they paid previously.”