Pilot scheme has been accelerated to make bus travel easier than ever for essential journeys around the city

 

 
First Aberdeen has become the first bus operator outside London to offer Express Mode for Apple Pay as a payment method for customers. The plan is to extend this function across all First Bus networks in the UK by the end of the year.

The launch has been accelerated through the impact of Covid-19, with bus operators across the country asking customers to avoid paying cash on bus wherever possible due to government advise on limiting the spread of the virus. First Bus has seen the use of cash fall by around 5% during the pandemic.

Express Mode for Apple Pay means for the first time ever customers with Apple Pay can access First bus and pay for their ticket using their iPhone or Apple Watch. There is no need to wake or unlock the device, open an app or use Face ID or Touch ID. Customers will now be able to enjoy “the true tap-and-go convenience” of Express Mode by holding their device near the reader, which will make boarding even faster.

This new option means yet another cashless method for First Aberdeen’s customers to pay for their bus travel. And with over 80% of them already using cashless payment methods on buses, many will benefit from this latest innovation.

Once the technology is fully operational in Aberdeen, it will be rolled out across First’s other UK bus networks over the remainder of the year.

During these unprecedented times, we wanted to offer our customers another cashless way to pay for their bus travel and to make life as easy as possible

“During these unprecedented times, we wanted to offer our customers another cashless way to pay for their bus travel and to make life as easy as possible,” said Graeme Macfarlan, commercial director at First Aberdeen.

“Aberdeen was the quickest market to adopt other popular payment methods on our buses across our entire UK bus operations and so it was the obvious first choice to be upgraded to the new Express Mode on Apple Pay technology.

“The new system will make life easier for customers choosing to travel with us during these difficult times.”

New ‘viricidal’ sanitiser in use across bus fleet

First Bus is this week rolling out a new, long-lasting sanitising treatment across its entire operational fleet, which kills Coronavirus on surfaces. The treatment is effective for 28 days.

First Bus says that the treatment is environmentally-friendly, uses no alcohol or dangerous chemicals, and is scientifically proven to be highly effective against Covid-19. It is the latest addition to the operator’s already enhanced cleaning regime and safety procedures, making travel on its networks safe for its customers and drivers.

Buses and depots will now be treated every 28 days with this “invisible shield”, which attracts and kills organisms. This latest cleaning enhancement is in addition to the daily disinfection of all driver and customer touchpoints onboard.

This follows recent measures taken to reduce the capacity of each bus by over 75%, with clear seat markings in place to guide customers where to sit, and the launch of innovative functionality added to First’s mobile App; allowing customers to not only live track the location of their next bus, but also to see how many seats are available on it.

Our buses are essential for those who need to travel and we want everyone to understand that it is safe to use our buses

“We are determined to do all we can to protect our customers and colleagues at this time,” said First Bus managing director Giles Fearnley. “Our buses are essential for those who need to travel and we want everyone to understand that it is safe to use our buses.”

 
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