Cashless and effortless contactless payments launch on Nottingham City Transport buses

Nottingham City Transport (NCT) buses are now accepting adult pay as you go contactless payments following an official launch by NCT, Nottingham City Council and system provider INIT.

The Nottingham Contactless project has been supported by Nottingham City Council, which secured £2.4m funding from the Department for Transport’s (DfT) National Productivity Investment Fund to develop the system to process contactless payments.

NCT is the first operator to offer contactless payments as part of the ‘Nottingham Contactless’ scheme, with the City Council’s Linkbus and NET trams to follow. Once all operators are on board by early 2021, Nottingham Contactless will be the UK’s first multi-modal and multi-operator contactless system outside London.

Ahead of the launch, over 600 customers have been trialling the contactless system throughout September, where it achieved a 96% satisfaction score amongst the participants in a post-trial survey.

One participant summed up the view of most, reporting that contactless was “really simple and easy to use and it made it much easier than trying to find the correct change.”

With exact cash fares required on all NCT bus routes, contactless offers a cashless way for adults to travel. Boarding is effortless as adults simply tap their contactless bank card or mobile device on the card reader as they board each bus and then take their seat.

There’s no need to ask for a ticket. The system automatically calculates the best fare for a customer based on their journeys each day, with customers travelling around Nottingham guaranteed never to pay more than the NCT all day ticket price. When leaving the bus, there’s no need to tap off either.

Overnight the system adds up all of the journeys a customer has made during the day and deducts the money direct from a customer’s bank account.

Cllr Adele Williams, the council’s Portfolio Holder for Transport, said: “Making it easy, convenient and affordable for people to use public transport is one of our priorities to encourage greener, more sustainable travel in and around the city. This is especially important as we plan our recovery from the ongoing impacts of Covid-19.

“We’re proud to already have award-winning, efficient and low emission buses and trams in Nottingham. By making payment easier, and offering best value fares, we can make public transport a more attractive option, helping to ease congestion and improve air quality for everyone.”

NCT Marketing and Communications Director, Nicola Tidy said: “The launch of adult pay as you go contactless payments on NCT buses offers our customers another cashless, convenient way to pay for their bus journeys. By simply tapping their contactless card or device on the bus each time they board, the contactless system does the hard work by adding up their journeys and charging customers based on their journeys during the day.”

This first phase of contactless payments is for adult pay as you go journeys, with contactless for other ticket types, such as students, groups, under 19s, short hops and even dog tickets to be made available in the next phase. The NCTX Buses app offers a cashless way for people to pay.

For journeys on NCT buses in Nottingham:

· One journey in a day – £2.30 charged (same as a standard single ticket)
· Two or more journeys during the day – £4.20 charged (same as an all day ticket)

Customers who use NCT Buses to the Outer Area, such as Loughborough and Southwell, can also make Nottingham Contactless payments and can check their prices and zones on the Nottingham Contactless website – http://www.nottinghamcontactless.co.uk

With no tickets issued on bus, customers who pay with a contactless card can view their transaction and journey details on the Nottingham Contactless website. Customers who pay for their journeys on their mobile phone or smart watch can check their Apple Pay or Google Pay account to view transaction details.

The Nottingham Contactless system has been developed and delivered by INIT, who are a long term partner in delivering ticketing and real time bus tracking information to NCT.

Jens Mullak, INIT Ltd’s Managing Director said, “Bringing contactless payments to Nottingham’s bus passengers will enhance their travel options, speed up journey times and is a particularly attractive payment method during the current climate when customers and bus drivers alike increasingly want to use bank cards and smart phones to pay, rather than handle cash.

“’INIT has enjoyed many years working closely with NCT to provide an array of services and we are really proud to once again be working with them to ensure that Nottingham’s bus passengers enjoy a first-class service as they travel across our city.”

Full details about how to make contactless payments on NCT buses along with the prices, caps and zones for journeys and where to view transactions are available at http://www.nottinghamcontactless.co.uk

The system is launched as proposals are being put forward for Government to fund a Midlands-wide Oyster-style system.

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