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Busway Smartcard is just the ticket

August 3, 2011 10:11 AM

A new Busway smartcard has been launched to allow passengers to travel on both Stagecoach and Whippet services with just one ticket.

Council and bus operator bosses have developed the smartcard - which will be one of the first commercial multi-operator smartcards in the country - to give passengers more flexibility and a real "turn up and go" service.

In addition to the multi-operator smartcard, Stagecoach and Whippet will still sell their own tickets for journeys on The Busway which will cost no more than ticket prices for the routes that had previously run on the congested and unpredictable A14.

A secure and easy-to-use area has been set up on the Council's website to sell smartcard tickets. Tickets will allow travel between destinations selected at the time of purchase and prices for ten single journeys using a smartcard range from £18 to £30 depending on the distance of travel. The website automatically calculates the cost of the ticket and a price table is also available.

Tickets will be despatched with ten single trips pre-loaded to the smartcard and then they can be topped up by paying the driver in cash when boarding any Busway service.

The Busway connecting Huntingdon, St Ives and Cambridge opens on Sunday 7 August and people can now order a multi-operator smartcard by visiting www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/buswaytickets.

A new website is also being launched today, www.thebusway.info, with full details of the routes, times and fares for The Busway. The website includes a link to the secure, easy-to-use area of the council's website which has been set up to sell the new smartcard.

Ian Bates, Cabinet Member for Growth and Planning, said: "Smartcards will give people another hassle free-way option for accessing The Busway as it gives the flexibility of using both bus operators' buses with just one ticket. It will be a great option for anyone who wants to turn up and get going straight away. Smartcards are simple to use and further information is now available on the Council's website to help people get the ticket they need before the opening on Sunday 7 August."

Andy Campbell, Managing Director of Stagecoach Cambridge, said: "Stagecoach's existing day, weekly, monthly and our own smartcard tickets will be valid on Busway services as well as our existing routes in the county."

Peter Lee, Director of Whippet Coaches, said: "Whippet's tickets on The Busway represent very good value for money, but the smartcard will give Busway passengers far more flexibility as they can use all buses running on the route. I think the card will be well used as it is exactly what people want."

Ticket machines are also in place along the guideway and passengers without a smartcard will be required to purchase a ticket before boarding the bus. Concessionary passes will also be accepted on The Busway under the same terms and conditions as other buses in Cambridgeshire.

The Busway smartcards have an ITSO logo on the back of the cards to show they comply with national standards for smartcard tickets.