New Ticketer machines ushers in start of contactless travel on First Greater Manchester routes
In line with other FirstGroup subsidiaries across the UK, contactless payments will be available on First Greater Manchester bus routes. From the first weekend in September, all First buses will be able to accept contactless credit and debit cards as a payment option.
To make this possible, new ticket machines will be fitted on all its buses by the start of September. This week, new machines have been fitted on the 17/17A, 18, 19, 33, 41, 42, 52, 53, 63, 67, 92, 93, 95, 97, 98, 100, and 135 services. The previous machines, manufactured by Almex, have been in use since 2011.
Seven years on, FirstGroup’s standard machine of choice became the Ticketer Standard machine. If you have travelled on Stott’s Tours and MCT Travel buses since 2014, you may be familiar with the Ticketer Compact machines. If you have a smart card (TfGM’s GetMeThere or an iGo pass) or a concessionary pass, just scan your pass in the normal fashion.
If you purchase a paper ticket or a mobile ticket via First’s mTicket app, your ticket will have a QR code. On a smartphone, this includes their FirstWeek and FirstMonth tickets as well as their FirstDay rover ticket. With a paper FirstDay ticket, this is seen at the bottom of your ticket. To board, just scan the QR code on the ticket machine.
If you bought your FirstWeek ticket before the new ticket machines are fitted, don’t panic. So long as your ticket is up-to-date, your driver will accept your ticket and enable you to enjoy the ride. Likewise if in the next week you choose to buy a FirstDay on the 163 to Bury, then use it on a 98 to Radcliffe (which has the new machines).
So far, over 1 billion tickets have been issued on Ticketer machines with clients including Bus Vannin (Isle of Man Transport) and Arriva as well as FirstGroup. Contactless payments account for 14.3 million transactions. Could Corvia’s Ticketer machines make for more speedier boarding on the 409 to Rochdale? We shall see.
S.V., 20 August 2018.