Citybus bosses are delighted at success of smartcard travel
TWENTY per cent of Plymouth Citybus journeys are now made by passengers paying by smartcard.
The company introduced the Key season ticket smartcard eight months ago, and bosses are delighted passengers are using what they call a "more convenient method of paying for bus travel".
Citybus managing director Andrew Wickham said it was hoped that with discounted travel offered through the Key, 60 per cent of journeys would soon be prepaid on a smartcard.
Already other companies within the Go-Ahead group are hitting that target.
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Mr Wickham, who leaves Plymouth this week to head Go South Coast in Dorset, Wiltshire, Hampshire and the Isle Of Wight, said: "Over the last eight months we have seen an 11 per cent growth in the number of journeys made on our enhanced network using the Key smartcard.
"The growing popularity of the smartcard is really important as people travelling using the Key help the driver keep to the timetable, which, of course, is better for all our customers."
Just last week, Go-ahead, which paid £19million for Citybus in December 2009, said introduction of smartcard technology was being credited for "solid" trading during the first quarter of 2012.
An interim statement said bringing in smartcards had, "as expected", reduced the average yield per customer.
But the firm stressed the move had provided the opportunity for long-term growth.
Nevertheless, it said it would have to look at pricing and cost efficiencies during the next quarter.
Citybus's new managing director, Richard Stevens, joins the firm this week. He was previously operations and commercial director for Stagecoach South West.