Tap & Cap 2

First Essex is introducing new 'Tap and Cap' ticketing technology and simpler fares across its Colchester bus network

  • Tap & Cap allows the customer to achieve the best value fare for their journey without needing to commit to long term tickets in advance.
  • Customers simply tap their payment method on the ticket machine reader next to the driver and the technology does the rest.
  • Further rollout of the Tap & Cap technology will be rolled out in Basildon in April.

Tap & Cap ticketing technology is being introduced on First Essex buses in Colchester from Saturday 26th February, meaning that people will always be charged the best value fare for a bus journey. 

At the same time, First Essex will be introducing some fare changes in Colchester, to include the introduction of simpler, more flexible ticketing options and fairer fares to reflect the changes to working and travel patterns of our customers.

As customers are generally travelling less often, our longer-term tickets are becoming less popular as the best option for travel for many customers. We have reduced the price of a single ticket in the Colchester Inner Zone to £2.50 for adults and to just £1.50 for children

Return tickets will no longer be available for travel solely within this area, but a new ‘Tap & Cap’ option is now available for adults providing a discount against the previous return fares to make occasional travel by bus more attractive. 

As an example; the first journey in any one day will be £2.50, the second £1.10, the third and fourth journeys just 40p and all subsequent journeys within the Colchester Inner Zone will be free.

The new Tap & Cap technology means that customers can simply board the bus, smile at the driver and tap their payment device (card, mobile phone) on the ticket machine reader next to the driver, and we do the rest.

The Tap and Cap technology makes sure a person only pays for the journeys they use rather than having to choose in the morning what will be the best value ticket for the day.

In addition, to help combat the increasing levels of congestion on our roads, we are making it easier than ever to access local First Essex buses. We are also simplifying the tickets available from the driver with Tap & Cap, single and day tickets being available to purchase.

Weekly and 4-weekly tickets will still be available through our app for adults and children.

Daily tickets are increasing to £4.40 for adults, £3.20 for children with weekly tickets increasing to £18 for adults and £11 for children with 4-weekly tickets increasing to £58 for adults and £42 for children.

By using the new Tap & Cap facility to pay for bus journeys in the zone, customers will never pay more than the daily price of £4.40. Once the £4.40 daily cap has been reached the next 2 days will also be capped at £4.40 a day with day 4 capped at £2.80, days 5 and 6 at just £1 a day and 7 is free to 7 being equivalent to the new weekly ticket price of £18 but without the need to commit to it in advance.

If a customer travels for a single or multiple journeys on the same day, the technology works out the best value fare to charge from when they first tap on with their credit/debit card or Google/Apple Pay device, without the need to know in advance which ticket to ask the driver for.

This means accessing your local bus service could not be easier and offers ultimate flexibility to the customer.

Frequent travellers can also benefit from the flexibility the system offers as they will never pay more than the daily or weekly ticket price depending on what they use month to month.

Garry Nicholass, Commercial Director at First Essex said: “Ticketing technology is set to take a major step forward with the introduction of Tap & Cap.

“With the Tap & Cap function it couldn’t be easier as customers can now have the peace of mind knowing that the best value fare will be charged for each and every journey they make and the more journeys they make, the more they will save.”