All National Express West Midlands buses now accept contactless payments

Posted: 8 June 2018 | | 2 comments

After a successful trial in Coventry, contactless payments have been implemented on the entire National Express West Midlands bus fleet…


West Midlands Mayor Andy Street and National Express West Midlands MD Tom Stables

After decades of only accepting exact change, every bus in the National Express West Midlands fleet of 1,600 will accept contactless payment.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “One of the things I hear repeatedly from users of public transport is that they want paying for travel to be easier and quicker. The new technology speeds up buses because passengers spend less time buying tickets. They don’t even have to pick up a paper ticket – they just tap their bank card and sit down.

“This saves each customer just a few seconds. But across a long West Midlands bus route with over 100 bus stops, those seconds add up. In cities, the time taken up by passengers getting on a bus makes up between a quarter and a third of the bus’s total journey time. By introducing contactless, National Express West Midlands could speed up bus journey times by up to 10 per cent.”

Councillor Roger Lawrence, Leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council and West Midlands Combined Authority Portfolio Lead for Transport, said: “Building on the success of our Swift card, this step by National Express is a huge one towards a totally contactless system across all forms of public transport. The system adopted can talk to other systems. Transport for the West Midlands is working towards this system, which is similar to the one used in London, improving the experience of users and helping to keep the region moving.”

Tom Stables, Managing Director of National Express West Midlands, said: “Now our customers won’t even have to work out what ticket they need. They can just tap a bank card on the reader and it will work out the fare for them. The first tap pays for one trip. Then, however many more trips you make that day, you will never be charged more than an adult day ticket. It really is that easy – and it’s always the same price as the adult cash fares.

“We know this is what National Express West Midlands customers want. We trialled this system on a few routes in Coventry in February, and just in the first two days, a fifth of adult cash passengers switched to contactless. Since we rolled it out across the West Midlands, we’ve had about 100,000 transactions. We are now getting about 5,000 contactless journeys every day – that’s one every five seconds.”

2 responses to “All National Express West Midlands buses now accept contactless payments”

  1. Sami says:

    Can you buy group tickets or short hops using contactless or I’ll still have to use swift card/m ticket app for those products?

  2. Ligia Burton says:

    I think this is a great idea, however it does not account for people with multiple cards from the same bank. The first time I used it I was going to an appeal meeting. I was stressed. I remember telling myself as I was walking towards the bus stop that I would use my personal card rather than my joint billing card (mine and my husband’s account, for household purchases); they look exactly the same and they are both newly issued because both my old one’s expired at the same time, therefore I am not familiar with the last 4 digits of the accounts. Whilst I thought this I didn’t take the card out then and whilst waiting for the bus I was preoccupied with the meeting ahead. I got in, paid and put the card away. Got off the bus, walked to the other stop and suddenly remember that I couldn’t remember which card I had used. On that day I got charged for 2x 2.40 pounds and 1x 2.20 pounds. Now, I am reasonably young, extremely organised and always planning ahead. What happens to the older generations which can be more susceptible to forgetfulness and the constantly stressed (most of the population)? Do they get stung just like me, several times a week? It almost happened to me again yesterday!

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