The five major bus companies have agreed to look at the case for installing the technology on all their vehicles by 2022 so passengers can travel using the ‘tap-and-go’ contactless technology now included on most bank and credit cards.
Bus and rail users in West Yorkshire can already buy MCards which they can use instead of cash to travel across the transport network.
Contactless payments with bank and credit cards are already a regular feature of travel in London where they can be used for bus, rail and tube journeys.
Robert Montgomery, bus managing director for operator Stagecoach and who speaks for the industry on smart ticketing, said: “This contactless initiative would be the biggest smart ticketing project ever delivered in Britain and a major milestone in providing simpler travel for the millions of people who rely on buses.”
The body representing credit and bank card companies has also reached a deal with transport firms to make it easier for contactless technology to be used for travel.
The Government is providing funding to look at how passengers could use their bank card or mobile phone instead of a traditional paper ticket for long distance rail journeys and rail season tickets.
Transport Minister and Harrogate MP Andrew Jones said: “The smart ticketing revolution is helping to build a modern, affordable transport network that provides better journeys for everyone.
“By working together, industry, city regions and government have been able to ensure more and more people can use smart ticketing to get around.”