09 May 2012

Buses getting smarter?

A bit of a non-story on This is Plymouth but I am sure it will be welcomed by Citybus:

INCREASES in the price of fuel have led to local bus company Plymouth Citybus putting up prices, but this has come with the introduction of many new schemes.

Peter Oliver, General Manager at Plymouth Citybus, said the most noticeable cost is fuel, saying: "By the time we hit July this year the pump price for us will have increased by 30% in just under 12 months." He added: "We use 12,000 litres of fuel every day. So 9p per litre additional fuel tax is a lot of money to recover."

The age of a young person's ticket has recently been raised to 23-years-old to attract more students. This has proved to have been very beneficial. Peter Oliver said: "When we decided to increase the age to 23, it was to attract students at University who are just starting out."

Plymouth Citybus users can also expect the introduction of M-Ticketing in the future allowing users to buy a ticket online using their smartphone. They will receive a code as proof of purchase, which will be shown to the bus driver in order to travel.

This is Plymouth

I guess its the last line which is most interesting. We have promises of great mobile ticketing options on the way for First Group and contactless cards etc so its good to see that we will get mobile options for Citybus too at some time in the not to distant future. I do hope that we we get it its worth the wait.  All to often what is promised and what is actually delivered are very different. Just look at so called real time displays on Plymouth bus stops to see what I mean there. The technology is out there and available now. We should be able to see when the next bus is due at almost all bus stops, not just a select few. It should be in real – real time on every bus for every bus company. We should be able to have one smart card we can use in Plymouth on all bus companies – even if it comes at a small premium over single company tickets.

First Devon and Cornwall stated last September:

FirstGroup intends to be the first bus operator outside London to offer customers touch in touch out contactless payment. The new ticket machines, designed to read contactless debit or credit cards, in addition to ITSO smartcards such as concessionary bus passes, will be introduced to First buses in Devon and Cornwall from the autumn and will initially allow customers with an ITSO smartcard to touch in. Contactless bank cards will be accepted from late 2012. Unless I have missed something have any of the new ticket machines been installed yet? Is it still on the cards for contactless cards for late 2012?

Elsewhere on the net

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  • This week's Snap on Sunday comes to you from picturesque Par, taken along the river at the Middleway crossing, with First Great Western's 150239 doing the honours on the run down to Newquay. PTOTPA
  • A revolutionary new bus service from First or a commercial disaster? Public Transport Experience
  • What do you do to refresh a brand that is effectively totally rainbowed? As yet there is no sign of a new standard livery but Trent Barton is pushing itself and its name just that little bit harder. Omnibuses
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  • I have owned three LH buses, two were ex Devon General. Two were restored but the third remained “as bought”. She passed her MOT when sold last year ! TGP
  • First Western National seemed to be the destination for many old double-deckers from other fleets Busworld Photography

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