Fare capping scheme to be trialled on Doncaster buses
Doncaster’s buses are set to trial a new tickets scheme intended to speed up the buses and cap passengers’ payments.
The scheme is being run by First and will be rolled out across South Yorkshire if it is successful.
Under the firm’s ‘tap and cap’ scheme, payment machines will take contactless payments from customers bank cards when they get on the bus, for a £2 fare, unless they ask for a different, cheaper fare.
But if the customer’s spending reaches £4.70 on a single day, it will automatically register them as having a day ticket, so they don’t pay any more for subsequent journeys when they tap their card. And if they spend £16.50 in a single week, it will automatically register the card holder as having a weekly pass, and not charge any more for further journeys during that week.
It will apply only for journeys within Doncaster.
As part of the new scheme, journeys that currently cost £3 for a single fare will fall to £2.
Bosses say that if the scheme, which will start on Sunday (September 29), is successful, they hope to be able to use it in a joint ticketing scheme with all other bus companies in the borough by 2022.
As well as limiting what customers pay, bosses believe it will improve bus journey times by cutting the amount of time customers spend buying their ticket. They also hope it will drive more people onto the buses.
Passengers will be able to log onto a website to see what journeys they have been registered for and what payments have been taken.
But mobile phone day ticket prices will go up from £4 to £4.70 in line with the other weekly tickets, and week tickets will no longer be available for cash purchase on-bus from October 27.
Allan Riggall, commercial director at First South Yorkshire, said: “We’ve had a lot of success encouraging customers to pay digitally using contactless cards and mobile devices for ease and convenience. To build on this and keep improving journey times, our ‘Tap & Cap’ initiative offers even more flexibility and value for customers – particularly the new £2 flat single fare.
“This new initiative ensures customers will always get the best value fare to suit their own travel needs and will continue to help speed up bus journeys by reducing boarding time. We will be monitoring the results of the trial closely and hope to extend the initiative further across the City Region.”