Bus travel is set to take a giant leap forward for customers of Reading Buses from the start of next month.
The introduction of a new tap-on, tap-off payment system will benefit many existing Reading Buses customers and is thought will also attract more people onto the bus.
From November 1, customers will be able to use contactless bank cards, watches and phones to pay for bus travel by simply tapping on the card reader on the ticket machine and tapping off on the reader by the exit door.
The new system will automatically calculate the fare and then cap it at the day ticket price of the zone in which the customer is travelling. This means that if a customer is travelling in the simplyReading area, their first journey will be £2. For the next journey, they will be capped at the day ticket price. They will be able to continue travelling all day within the same zone at no extra cost – providing they remember to tap on and tap off with the same device they previously used. This system will also apply in all other Reading Buses zones, including the simplyNetwork area.
For tap-on and tap-off users, the operator is also offering a notable reduction in the price of the Reading All-Bus day ticket until December 31 – customers in the simplyReading zone will have their day ticket capped at just £3 until the end of the year. The price of the day ticket on their app will not benefit from this reduction to help incentivise customers to use tap-on tap-off.
Said Chief Executive Officer Robert Williams: “By using tap on, tap off customers will never pay more than the day ticket price and don’t need to worry about having the right fare or asking for the right ticket.
“It also means that if a customer ends up making more journeys than they planned, they don’t have to buy more tickets as their fare will likely have been capped. “The capping will also work across all operators in the simplyReading area due to the Reading All-Bus ticket.”
Reading Buses says the tap on, tap off system will only be available for adult tickets and will only cap to the day ticket price at the time of launch.
Said Robert: “If customers want to buy Boost tickets they should do so on the app and for those travelling regularly, buying a period ticket on the app or smartcard might still be more cost-effective to give better savings.
“The tap on, tap off system will be available on all Reading Buses services, excluding football and school services. It will also be available on Thames Valley Buses services that run into Reading, but will not be applicable on Newbury & District.”
Reading Buses points out that customers will be able to track their payments online as well as in their app using the ‘contactless journeys’ section. Robert added: “They will need to register their card first, but then can track all payments made.
“Full information on the new system, plus a list of frequently asked questions, are on the Reading Buses website”.
“We think this will be another step change in bus travel along with our app and the original contactless payments project. ”Customers won’t need to worry about their fare any more knowing they will be capped at the day rate within whichever zone they are travelling.”
He added: “Alongside the £2 single fare extension and the Reading All-Bus ticket, there’s never been a better time for customers to take the bus.”
For more details visit: www.reading-buses.co.uk