25% of West Midlands fares now paid for using contactless

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A quarter of all bus fares in the West Midlands are now paid for with contactless cards, less than a year after the system was introduced.

National Express West Midlands, rolled out contactless ticket machines on all of its 1,600 buses from February 2018.

On February 25 January 2019, a customer made the three millionth contactless payment on the number 48 bus at West Bromwich bus station.

A total of 17% of the company’s revenue now comes from people using their phones to buy tickets, meaning that the proportion of people buying bus tickets using digital payments is now 42%.

In 2017, contactless payments grew by 99% and cash payments fell from 61% of all payments in 2007 to 34%.

Councillor David Hosell, Sandwell Council cabinet member for highways and environment, said: “Paying by contactless is nothing to be scared of – three million people in the West Midlands have already bought their bus tickets that way.

“Contactless is good for bus routes in the Black Country.

It makes it quicker for people to get on the bus.

They don’t have to search for the right change, so it speeds up bus journey times.”

Nick Vane, Commercial Director at National Express West Midlands, said: “We know our customers like contactless because it’s easy.

You don’t even have to work out what ticket you need. Just tap a card on the reader and it works out the fare for you.

However many trips you make in a day, you will never be charged more than an adult day ticket.

It’s also cheaper than paying by cash.

“Young people especially have really embraced contactless on our buses – 50% of fares on the university bus routes in Coventry are paid for using contactless.”

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