Dateline 2017 : First Introduce An App ...
“Encouraging more people to use the app would be fine if the app was reliable but it's not,” BathCommuter wrote.
“I've had other people pay my bus fare because the app wouldn't work and I didn't have any money on me and the bus driver wouldn't let me board. I've missed busses because the app is slow and full of glitches.
“I've now deleted it from my phone. It doesn't speed things up. Most days there are queues of people waiting for the app to work or arguing with drivers about how terrible the app is.”
MoeXXX said: “Bath is barely 5 miles across but has as many fare zones as London. I have a better idea how much a bus journey costs in Bristol, Sheffield, Southampton and Edinburgh than I have in Bath, despite living here.
"Why do First make it so complicated? Because they can. If they really wanted to reduce dwell times they would introduce flat fares.”
InspireBath wrote: “They really need peak & offpeak pricing at least. It's totally crazy that you can park for 2 hours in Southgate for less than a single bus fare - let alone for a couple or a family. They wonder why people use cars!”
Anorak posted: “Ok, it might speed up boarding times but the buses actually need to run first.”
A spokesman for First said the company disputed the critical claims made by Chronicle readers.
"Also we found that for as little as £1.50 a week you can own a phone compatible with the mTickets app. Also, the Touch Card is available where savings can be made. For instance, Single tickets can be purchased as a pack of five for £10.
"If someone was to do this many single transaction with cash from the driver it would cost £12.50. However, there isn’t an option to buy day tickets on the Touch Card.
"Regarding the mTicket app, in a recent survey of over 1,500 bus passengers, 96% of respondents would recommend the app to colleagues or friends. So for the most part, the feeling towards the app is positive."
On the other hand, if flat fares are mitigated by good value day and week tickets, the pain can be less. But, generally, flat fares do discourage short-hop journeys.
One solution is TOTO, tap on, tap off as introduced by First in Leeds. There was a rumour that the First Bristol company was going to abandon flat fare completely and move over to TOTO - but it seems this is not happening - yet!
fbb will now take a look in more detail at First's 2022 fares leaflet with its even more garish cover!
It is in four sections, and is colour coded.
The leaflet has a couple of pages of guff ...