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Finally! National Express will let you pay for your bus with a debit card

Bus operator plans to roll out new technology after testing it out on routes between Birmingham, Solihull and Coventry

Transport operator National Express has introduced a new contactless payment system on some of its West Midland buses.

The Birmingham-based company has started a trial on its X1 and X2 services between the city and Solihull and Coventry.

Peter Coates, managing director of National Express West Midlands, said: "The trial is going well.

"Drivers tell me that passengers boarding at the airport are using the new card readers.

"We think people who've just arrived in Birmingham need an alternative to cash payments - they may not have the right change or even the right currency.

"They've also seen our customers making contactless transactions in Birmingham, Coventry and Solihull town centres.

"We know from running the Midland Metro tram that our customers like contactless as over 20 per cent of tickets sold are bought using contactless.

The contactless reader on National Express buses
The contactless reader on National Express buses

"Over two thirds of our customers tell us they like it because it's quicker."

The operator said tickets were also cheaper using contactless with a Daysaver 60p less and a single ticket for longer journeys in Birmingham 30p less.

The X1 route runs from Birmingham city centre to Coventry via the airport and the X2 goes between the city centre and Solihull.

Why the Midland Metro will be 'nationalised'

The trial is using a retail model for transactions whereby the drivers select the tickets.

The contactless technology will start appearing on Coventry buses later this year, followed by the rest of the West Midlands' 1,600-strong fleet over the next two years.

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