Tap-&-cap is set to become the new norm for fare collection and charging, but as DAVID JENKINS reports, there is as yet no pan-industry standard and some tickets are better promoted than others

If your local bus service does not accept payment by contactless card, then you are in a small minority these days.

Major suppliers Vix, Flowbird (the latest name for what used to be Wayfarer) and the ubiquitous Ticketer — plus Init in the Midlands — all offer ticket machines that can take payment by card, even if not all operators have yet chosen to take it up.

Lothian Buses’ recent reintroduction of dual-door vehicles has assisted in its introduction of the Tap, Tap, Cap system. Wright Gemini2-bodied valvo B9TL 1152 (LX11CWR) WAS NEW TO Go-ahead London as its WVL411 and was refurbished before entering service in Edinburgh

All except Vix now have systems operating where just touching in with a card — or a phone or watch — is enough to allow you to travel. It means that politicians’ envious desire for a London-style pay-as-you-go (PAYG) approach is becoming possible in more places, even where commercial bus operators have to charge something more complex than London’s universal flat fare.

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