Ulink introduces Oystercard-style system to Bristol

Issue date: 24 August 2009

A bus from the Ulink fleet Ulink, the bus service operated by the University of West England and Wessex Connect will ease the journeys of the travelling public across Bristol with the introduction of a new smartcard system, as an alternative to cash, for buying bus tickets.

Now in its second year, Ulink which was originally set up as a bus service for students, became the first bus service in Bristol to successfully launch the new smartcard system on 19 August. Similar to the London Oyster Card, students and Bristol's bus users can avoid the hassle of long queues and scrambling for change by taking advantage of this innovative scheme.

UWE's Travel Planner Steve Ward explains, “The idea is that you get on the bus and instead of having to find the right cash to buy a ticket, you put your smartcard onto the ticket machine as payment. The machine still gives you a ticket but the time wasted at the stop is reduced. What's more, with a smartcard a single ticket is only £1.67 and a dayrider is just £2.50 -- so you save time as well as money.

“UWE hopes that Bristol City Council will consider whether smartcards could be used on many other bus services in Bristol – it's cheaper, more convenient and you don't have to worry about having the right money. When the balance on the smartcard gets low, you can just pay the driver £10 to top it up.”

Cllr Dr Jon Rogers, Executive Member for Transport and Sustainability at Bristol City Council said, “I am really impressed by the work of UWE and Wessex Connect and congratulate them on their successful launch. These cards offer convenience, faster journey times and good value. I am keen to work with partners to enable similar progress with full integrated ticketing on all the buses in Bristol and surrounding areas.”

Passengers can obtain a smartcard by sending a £1 coin and a stamped addressed envelope to UWE Bristol, 1E20 Frenchay Campus, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol BS16 1QY.

In other developments, Ulink has announced that its services will increase to four times an hour on Filton Avenue and Gloucester Road from 14 September.

Full details of the Ulink services are available at http://www.ulinkbus.info

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