Two bus firms in High Wycombe have launched a joint ticket that allows passengers to transfer between their services.
The arrangement between Arriva and Carousel bus companies was brokered by Buckinghamshire County Council with their set-up costs match-funded by a £124,000 top-up grant from Wycombe District Council.
Mark Shaw and Wycombe DC chairman Paul Turner get carried away
Wycombe Smartzone, which was launched on Wednesday (8 January), allows passengers to buy day, week, four-week, or multiple trip tickets that will be accepted on all Arriva and Carousel buses in the area.
The ticket can be bought on-board or via an app or smartcard, with the format depending on the ticket’s duration.
The two companies have also provided smartcard top-up machines in the town's bus station and introduced contactless payment on their buses.
Mark Shaw, deputy leader and transport cabinet member, said Buckinghamshire had co-ordinated the scheme to comply with competition legislation and will chair meetings of the management committee that oversees the scheme.
He said: ‘I'm really pleased we've been able to work together to make this great customer-centred scheme happen.
‘It makes absolute sense to make it as easy as possible for passengers to travel across the Wycombe area, whichever buses they need to use. Full marks to both bus companies for their forward-thinking.’
Funding towards setting up Smartzone, including the back-office support, contactless ticket issuing technology and bus station top-up machines for smartcards, came from contributions from developers to Wycombe District Council.
David Johncock, Wycombe's cabinet member for planning and sustainability, said: ‘We all know how congested our local roads are and the adverse impact this has on our air quality. We have to encourage more people to use public transport and this initiative is a great start to achieving that.’