Hampshire buses to get touch ticketing technology

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FIRST buses in Hampshire are to receive new state-of-the-art ticket technology.

The company has revealed it will invest £1.9m in systems to provide ‘touch in, touch out’ Oyster Card-style payment for its bus fleet.

The new ticket machines, designed to read debit or credit cards, in addition to ITSO smartcards such as concessionary bus passes, will be introduced from the autumn and will initially allow customers with an ITSO smartcard to touch in.

Contactless bank cards will be accepted from late 2012.

The investment forms part of FirstGroup’s £27m commitment to provide new ticketing technology to its 5,000 buses in England.

Justin Davies, regional managing director of First, said: ‘Considerable investment in our buses continues. This is a ground-breaking announcement for the bus industry and good news for our customers.

‘The public transport industry will increasingly rely on new technology such as contactless bank cards and mobile phones to both retain and attract customers. It’s an exciting prospect.’