The COVID-19 Bus Services Support Grant (CBSSG) Restart mechanism in England now includes as an allowable cost leasing charges for new and upgraded ticket machines that can handle contactless transactions. They may be claimed for from 10 May.
Addition of the machines to the list of allowable costs comes as the Department for Transport (DfT) seeks to encourage further extension of the payment method to the 16% buses in England that do not currently take contactless card payments.
“We hope that through CBSSG, we can encourage operators to adopt the technology and drive greater adoption of contactless across the industry, as set out in the National Bus Strategy [for England],” says DfT. It adds that the payment method is “safer and more hygienic” than using cash and that it can also reduce dwell times.
Only leasing charges for new or upgraded contactless ticket machines are claimable through the CBSSG Restart reconciliation process. It is not permitted to claim for outright capital purchase costs.
Leasing costs for the machines will only be recoverable while CBSSG Restart funding is in place. However, DfT says that operators may choose any supplier of contactless ticket machines and that the length of the term for the lease is a decision for the operator. CBSSG Restart will not cover any additional costs for supplying data to the Bus Open Data Service.