FirstGroup is intending to roll out Corethree’s m-ticketing solution across its UK bus businesses

First UK Bus has launched mobile ticketing trials at its operations in Aberdeen and Worcester.

In a first for FirstGroup’s 6,500-vehicle bus division, bus customers can now use their mobile phones as bus tickets. The company has launched a new app, ‘First Bus Mobile Tickets’, where customers can purchase a range of tickets. And, once purchased, customers can show the bus driver the ticket on their mobile phone.

The initiative has been introduced to make it easier for customers to buy tickets and remove the worry of not having the correct change, as well as speeding up boarding times. First is confident that the new approach will encourage more people to travel by bus.

Talking about the new initiative, Giles Fearnley, managing director of First UK Bus, said: “This is good news for our customers. I am confident that the app will be enthusiastically welcomed by many of our passengers and will strongly support our strategy to attract new customers. We will be rolling this app out across all our networks through 2014.”

Customers can purchase a range of products including FirstDay, FirstWeek and First4Week tickets using the new app, which is available for free on App Store and Google Play. Customers simply download the app, register, select the ticket they want and navigate the secure payment system. Once the payment section is complete, bus tickets live in a virtual wallet ready for the customer to show the driver. Repeat users need only select the required tickets and confirm their debit/credit card’s security code.

First’s mobile ticketing solution has been built and managed by UK technologists, Corethree, based upon its award-winning platform, Core Engine. Watford-based Corethree has already provided m-ticketing solutions to Go-Ahead Group, Transdev, Rotala and Lothian Buses.

Corethree chief executive, Ashley Murdoch, said: “We have worked very closely with First UK Bus to produce a highly useable and customer engaging m-ticketing system. It not only provides great flexibility for passengers but also offers powerful insights surrounding usage data which will enable First to learn more about its customers.”

This article appears inside the latest issue of Passenger Transport.

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