A trial of the use of contactless smart cards on Bristol’s buses could be the precursor to a wider rollout on the region’s transit network. Similar to London’s Oyster card scheme, passengers will be able to use their pre-paid card, which can accommodate up to £50 credit, to pay for each journey on buses in the city.
Bristol City Council is looking to begin the trial in June, with passengers able to apply for a card from late May. A similar scheme is already in operation in Bolton, run by sQuidcard.
Jon Rogers, Bristol Council’s executive member for transport and sustainability, said that people were anxious to see the technology introduced but that a wider introduction of the technology would take some time. “The regional scheme may be some time in the offing,” he said. “In the meantime,” he added, “there’s a lot we can learn about the technology and a lot of benefits we can offer for a fairly low investment.” That investment amounts to £20,000 and will be paid for by the council. Councils across the country are looking at the viability of introducing contactless payment technology on their transit systems to speed up journeys and improve efficiency.