Using your smart phone or watch to pay for bus trips across regional NSW is a step closer with a trial of contactless payments being rolled out in Bathurst and Dubbo.
The trial will start early next year, allowing customers to pay their fare by “tapping” their credit or debit card, phone, or watch when boarding the bus.
Deputy Premier, Minister for Regional NSW and Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said buses across both Bathurst and Dubbo will be fitted with the technology, giving people more flexibility when paying for their trip.
“We’ve heard the calls from the community for the ability to make contactless payments on regional bus services – and we’ve listened,” Mr Toole said.
“So many of us don’t carry cash now – this will mean when you jump on a bus, you have the choice to tap your card or device to pay for your journey instead.
‘We’ve already invested in more services to more locations more often in regional centres right across the State – now we want to ensure we’re also making these services easier to use.”
National Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway said insights from the trial will allow operators to better plan schedules and therefore deliver better services in the regions.
“The NSW Nationals in the state government are making daily life easier for families in regional NSW by improving public transport so it’s more accessible,” Mr Farraway said.
“This initiative will save time for anyone using our regional bus network as customers will simply have to tap once to pay for their trip and not fumble around for cash or wait for change.
“If the trial is successful, up to 300 fare-paying buses across rural and regional areas could be considered for contactless card reader technology.”
Nationals Member for Dubbo and Minister for Western NSW Dugald Saunders said the NSW Government is focused on delivering a brighter future for regional families.
“Our government has put on an additional 2,500 weekly bus services state-wide since 2019,” Mr Saunders said.
“We’ve delivered an extra 58 services in Dubbo alone so mums, dads, seniors and shift workers have more options to get to work, get kids to school or run errands.”
Customers will still be able to pay in cash during the card-based contactless payment trial.
Trip information, digital timetables, routes and stop information are all available to access via Transport for NSW’s Trip Planner and other transport apps.