Arriva has launched contactless payment on its fleet in the North East – its first region to utilise the technology outside London.
The rollout is underway with bus passengers in the Tees Valley already using the new technology on a number of buses. It is expected to be available on all of Arriva’s 491 buses in the North East by April 2017.
Along with other major bus operators, Arriva has pledged to roll out contactless payments across its entire bus fleet by 2022.
The rollout was marked by a launch at Middlesbrough bus station.
Arriva has worked closely with technology and payment providers, Parkeon and Six Payments, to build a secure payment option for passengers.
Kevin O’Connor, Managing Director of UK Bus at Arriva, said: “The rollout of contactless payment is the latest in a line of improvements that will make it easier to travel by bus and improve the passenger experience.
“Alongside the ability to pay by cash, our customers also asked for contactless and we are delivering on that. Across our operations, we are innovating to improve journeys and make our services even more convenient for new and existing customers.”
Andrew Jones, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, said: “This Government is committed to making bus travel easier and more accessible. This new technology will give passengers the freedom and convenience to go cash-free, which will reduce boarding times and speed up journeys as a result – helping thousands of passengers, as well as tackling congestion.”
Nick Knox, Area Managing Director for Arriva North East, added: “This is great news as we give customers more choice in how they pay for their journey.
“The new contactless technology, along with our mobile phone app, demonstrates our commitment to improving the passenger experience and developing our bus fleet.”
David Budd, Mayor of Middlesbrough, commented: “I’m delighted that Arriva has chosen the Tees Valley as the first place to roll-out contactless payment outside London.
“Good bus services are a vital part of our transport infrastructure and this new technology will help make travelling by bus much more straightforward.”