Jersey smartcards overtake cash fares

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The number of people using cash to pay for the bus in Jersey has dropped below 50% for the first time, the BBC has reported.

The Avanchii smartcard was introduced when HCT Group-owned Liberty Bus took over the Jersey service from Connex in January 2013. New figures from the operator show that of almost two million journeys made in the first half of 2015, 52% were made using an Avanchii card – a 25% increase in card use over the same period in 2014.

The company changed the pricing structure in February to encourage more people to use the pre-paid cards. At the time, Liberty Bus increased the cost of cash journeys by 20p to £2 for longer journeys but reduced it by 20p for Avanchii card users to £1.60. General manager Kevin Hart said he wanted as many people to use the pre-pay cards as possible as it speeds up the boarding time.

More than four million passenger journeys were made on Liberty Bus services in 2014. This figure is expected to be about 8% higher for 2015.

“It shows that the model of extra buses and lower fares is the way forward,” Kevin Hart said.