First Bus and Ticketer complete UK wide rollout of Tap On / Tap Off ticketing technology across entire fleet

26 April 2023

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First Bus and Ticketer partnership has led to a first-of-its-kind pilot in the UK using this technology. 

First Bus has completed a UK wide rollout of Tap On / Tap Off (TOTO) ticketing technology across its entire fleet of more than 4000 buses, in collaboration with partners Ticketer and Littlepay.

First Bus is the first major UK bus operator to achieve this milestone thanks to an investment of around £1 million, alongside further funding from several local authority partners which has helped to accelerate the rollout.

This technology enables customers to travel on buses as much as they please, whilst ensuring they’ll never pay more than the daily or weekly cap.

This distance-based charging structure makes pricing fairer for customers allowing more personalisation, so they’re charged based on their individual travel requirements. TOTO not only provides frictionless travel but will also help to reduce dwell times for passengers with speedy boarding that doesn’t require them to speak to the driver.

This technology is the first step in next-generation ticketing and allows First Bus to get more data than ever about its customers’ travel habits and demand for services. This enables the company to make data-led decisions in the future that are based around its customers’ needs. Access to enhanced data around travel patterns and customer behaviours can also inform fleet management and improve operational efficiencies.

The partnership between Ticketer and First Bus has also led to a UK pilot of TOTO technology in Bridgend, Wales, where fares were calculated based on the distance travelled by each customer in a UK first for the industry. 

Simon Pearson, Chief Commercial Officer at First Bus UK, said: “This is a landmark moment for the business and our customers. We are delighted to be the first major operator to offer the benefits of TOTO technology. We are always working hard to bring our customers the best possible value for money and to align bus as a valued and vital option as part of people’s everyday transport mix.”

Richard Blackburn-Hughes, Chief Commercial Officer at Ticketer, said: “We have been really pleased to partner with First Bus in rolling out Tap On / Tap Off travel across their network, bringing frictionless travel to millions of passenger journeys every week across the UK. Passengers are already benefitting from faster boarding and gaining confidence that they are getting the best fare, but this is just the start. This infrastructure will enable further innovation in fare models and network organisation in the future.”

Sarah McLaughlin, Business Development Manager at Littlepay, said: “We are very proud of our strong partnership with First Group and Ticketer. We’ve had an exciting journey together over the years and are delighted to be supporting First Bus with the expansion of TOTO across their entire fleet. The success of this deployment is a testament to the power of partnerships in making public transport more accessible – by removing obstacles and giving riders the reassurance that they are always getting the best value fares.”

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Some of the things we have won


Received 'Most Innovative Public Transport Technology 2022' award, by the UK Transport Awards.

Winners of the 2022 Euro Bus Expo Innovation Challenge Bronze Award.

Winners of the 'ROSCO Silver Award for Contribution to Safer Driving' 2022

Profit Track 100 2021

Ranked in The Sunday Times BDO Profit Track 100, acknowledging the impressive performance and contributions of the featured companies to the economy and society during the pandemic

Transport Ticketing

Winner of the Transport Ticketing Awards 2021 'Digital Champion' Category

Ticketer Award Megabuyte

Listed as 3rd in the Megabuyte Emerging Stars Awards which recognise the top 25 best-performing scale-up Companies of the Year in the UK, for industry-specific software

Ones to Watch award

Named as “One to Watch” in the European Business Awards

Ticketer Award Thames Valley

Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year & High Growth Business of the Year

Gold Winner of the Coach and Bus Innovation Challenge 2019 for our passenger app Kazoot

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