Coventry families urged to get smart on bus fare
Posted: 25 October 2013 | Centro | No comments yet
“…we hope this new Swift smartcard can offer a little financial help as well as making bus travel even easier and more convenient.”
Coventry families can now save up to £18.50 a month on the cost of their bus travel by using the city’s first ever smartcard ticket.
Today’s (Friday October 25) launch of the electronic Coventry ‘n’ Bus pass marks the first of a raft of ticketing options to be made available by transport authority Centro on its new ‘Swift’ smartcard.
The monthly pass costs £43.50 by direct debit and can be used on any bus in the Coventry area regardless of which company runs the service.
It offers a significant saving over the existing paper-based ‘n’ Bus pass which costs up to £62 a month.
Centro chairman Cllr John McNicholas, who officially launched the new pass at the Coventry Transport Museum, said: “At a time when many families are struggling to meet the rising cost of living we hope this new Swift smartcard can offer a little financial help as well as making bus travel even easier and more convenient.
“The Coventry ‘n’ Bus product is a great example of how smartcard technology allows us to offer more flexible, customised yet cheaper ticketing for passengers. Our priority now is to launch a range of ‘pay as you go’ products on Swift as soon as possible next year.”
The new pass is the first commercial product of its type to be made available on Swift anywhere in the West Midlands and marks a major step forward in Centro’s £14 million smartcard project.
Further ticket options for the Coventry area will come on stream with Swift next year. These will include one week and four week passes available on a ‘pay as you go’ basis, giving passengers even more choice and financial flexibility.
Centro chief executive, Geoff Inskip, added: “The launch of the Coventry ‘n’ Bus option is a real milestone in our roll out of Swift.
“You only have to look at London’s Oyster card to see how successful smartcard technology can be in encouraging people on to public transport by making it quicker, easier and, of course, potentially cheaper to use.
“Once fully rolled out Swift will enable fare paying passengers to do away with the need for cash all together and instead make their journey using 21st century technology.”
Centro’s existing paper-based ‘n’ bus pass covers the whole of the West Midlands but the smart technology built into the Swift card means it can be programmed for use only in a designated area.
That makes the Swift Coventry ’n’ Bus product ideal for those passengers who only want to travel by bus in the Coventry area and save themselves money in the process.
The launch follows the successful installation of smartcard readers on all of the region’s 2,400 buses.
It also follows agreement with Coventry bus operators including National Express Coventry, Travel de Courcey, Stagecoach and Johnsons Coach and Bus Travel.
Peter Power, managing director of National Express Coventry said: “We are committed to delivering more tickets through the Swift smartcard in partnership with Centro.
“The introduction of Swift should make it even easier for people across Coventry to use buses to get to and from work, school and college.”
Chris Simes, commercial manager for Stagecoach Midlands, added, “We are delighted to be involved with the introduction of this milestone. This facility will be of real benefit to bus users travelling in and around Coventry and continues to make the bus more attractive than the car.”
Adrian de Courcey, director of Travel de Courcey, said: “The new Coventry ‘n’ bus pass on the Swift smartcard is a revolutionary moment for bus travel in Coventry as the card can be used across all bus companies and networks within Coventry.
“It is both cost-effective and convenient and we hope it leads to greater bus use across Coventry.”