The way we pay for public transport will become a lot more straight forward.
Catching the bus in the West Midlands is about to get a lot easier.
National Express West Midlands has announced plans to fit their buses with technology to allow contactless payment.
Their 1,500 buses in the area with take payments from bank cards, smartphones, smart watches, cash and Swift cards.
Peter Coates, managing director of National Express West Midlands, said: “We know our customers want the choice of using contactless when they travel.
“Only a month ago, we introduced it on the Midland Metro and already 7% of passengers buying a ticket on board are using contactless.
“So, as part of our pledge to the West Midlands Bus Alliance to get more people travelling by bus, we are investing in contactless because it makes journeys quicker and easier for passengers.”
The new technology will appear first on buses in Coventry by the end of the year before coming to Birmingham and the rest of the West Midlands over the following two years.
It is predicted to speed up bus journeys because passengers will spend less time buying a ticket at bus stops.
A report into the effects of congestion on bus passengers recently said: “If London-style cashless buses with contactless payment and smart ticketing could be extended to the rest of the UK, bus journey times could be improved by up to 10% by halving dwell time at bus stops.
“In urban conditions, dwell time makes up between 25% and 33% of total journey time. The big five bus operators in the UK have set a target to introduce contactless bus transactions by 2022.
“They should do everything possible to accelerate this, and it is realistic for them to achieve this goal in the large conurbations within three years.”
Beardsworth, L. (2016) When will contactless payment be available on Birmingham buses?Available at: http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/contactless-payment-coming-birmingham-buses-11609505 (Accessed: 14 July 2016).