‘Tap On, Tap Off’ payment now available on all MetroBus and First Bus services

Photo of two men standing alongside a bus.
Metro mayor Dan Norris (left) and First Bus
managing director Doug Claringbold mark the launch of the Tap On, Tap Off payment system.

Ticketless ‘Tap On, Tap Off’ (Toto) fare payment is now available on all MetroBus and First Bus services in the West of England.

Using Toto, passengers simply tap their credit/debit card or payment-enabled smartphone device against the reader when they get on the bus and again just before they get off. First Bus then works out the correct fare for each journey and ensures that customers never pay more than the relevant Day ticket fare each day they travel, no matter how many journeys they make.

Within the Bristol zone, passengers making just a single trip on any day will be charged the Single ticket price, while those making two trips (e.g. out and return) will be charged the 2-Trip ticket price (which is cheaper than a Day ticket).

As customers travel more over the week, the system also ensures that each extra day costs less.

Toto is the most convenient way to pay for adults currently buying a Single, 2-Trip, Day, 3-Day, 5-Day, Night or Week ticket.

Kitchen & Laundry Appliance Care, Bradley Stoke, Bristol.

A spokesperson for First West of England said:

“There’s no need to ask your driver for a ticket, just tap your card or device when you board the bus and tap again when you leave. We’ll work out the fare based on your taps!”

Tap On, Tap Off has also replaced Tap & Cap in Bristol. Just tap your card or device in the same way when you get on the bus, and don’t forget to tap again when you get off!

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Toto was officially launched across all Bristol MetroBus and First West of England services on Sunday 17th July 2022 thanks to funding from the West of England Combined Authority. It makes bus travel in the West of England simpler, especially for new customers, with no need to know which zone you are in or which ticket to buy. The system also gives customers visibility of what they’ve been charged for all their journeys through a simple online portal.

Doug Claringbold, managing director at First West of England, said:

“We’re making it easier to use the bus with the introduction of Tap On, Tap Off. Simplicity is a key part of our plan to welcome back existing customers and encourage people who may not currently use buses to give them a try, especially at a time when alternatives to the car are not only the environmentally friendly option, but the most cost-effective too. With Tap On, Tap Off, customers will have the peace of mind of knowing their costs will be capped, and in boarding more quickly through not having to buy a ticket, everyone who uses the new system will be contributing to faster journeys.”

Dan Norris, West of England metro mayor, said:

“I want to make it as easy as possible for people across the West of England to use buses. More journeys by bus across the West of England will help us reach our ambitious net-zero-by-2030 target and deal with congestion and pollution. ‘Tap On, Tap Off’ makes it easier for passengers, and by simplifying and streamlining the payment process, it speeds everything up. If it’s good enough for the capital, then it’s the very least that we should expect here in our region.”


How does Tap On, Tap Off work?

Tap On Tap Off works with any valid credit or debit card, including pre-paid debit cards. It can also be used if you have Google Pay or Apple Pay on your mobile phone or smart device – but remember to use the same device every time or you may get charged extra.

All you have to do is tap on when you start your journey and tap off when you leave the bus. The First Bus system will then automatically calculate the correct adult fare for you.

What are the benefits of the scheme?

Tap On, Tap Off simplifies using the bus for customers who would otherwise need to work out which ticket they need.

It also removes the risk of wasting a ticket when plans change, as it will only ever charge customers for the travel they actually make. This could benefit someone who buys a Day ticket expecting to use several buses but then only makes a return journey, or a worker who buys a Week ticket upfront but then doesn’t have to go into work as often as they expected.

Not having to buy a ticket from the driver also speeds up the boarding process, benefitting all passengers.

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Tap On, Tap Off has been launched by First Bus in partnership with the West of England Combined Authority using Government funding.

For more information, visit: Tap On, Tap Off – the easiest way to travel by bus (First Bus)

Selected Q&As

Q. What’s the difference between Tap On, Tap Off and normal contactless payment?

A. Contactless payment is available for all tickets we sell on our services. Tap On, Tap Off is even quicker and easier as you don’t even need to ask for a ticket – just tap your card or device and we do the rest.

Q. How does Tap On, Tap Off differ from the former Tap & Cap?

A. Tap On, Tap Off offers the same convenience as Tap & Cap, but with a whole lot more benefits – such as capping on a wider range of tickets including Night, Bristol Airport Flyer and Bristol Park & Ride – as well as capping when travelling outside the Bristol Zone.

Q. Can I check my journey history?

A. Yes you can, by visiting the transaction portal. Once you’ve entered your card details, you can see the trips you’ve made and how much you’ve been charged over the past 90 days. Full details of your trip(s), payments and capping will appear at the end of the day for each day you travel – these completed payments have a blue marker on the left hand side. Not yet completed payments have a yellow marker on the left hand side.

Q. Does Tap On, Tap Off allow for payment for people to travel together?

A. If you travel together, each person needs their own contactless card or device to use Tap On, Tap Off (as your card or device acts as your ticket). You can still use the same card or device to use Tap On, Tap Off and then buy another ticket, for example, tapping on for yourself and then buying a child single.

MetroBus users

Photo of an M1 MetroBus vehicle.

Metrobus will remain a ‘Buy Before You Board’ and ‘Tap On, Tap Off’ only service.

For other tickets (including Child, Student or Group), please purchase from the iPoint machines at MetroBus stops or on the First Bus smartphone app prior to boarding the bus.

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