Contactless Payment Coming to City Buses Skip to content

Contactless Payment Coming to City Buses

By Larissa Kyzer

Public bus in Reykjavík
Photo: Photo: Golli. Buses in Reykjavík are recognisable thanks to their bright yellow colour.

Strætó will be accepting bids for a new contactless payment method on city buses before the end of the summer, RÚV reports. The intention is to begin implementing a payment system that is more in line with those in neighbouring countries and it’s hoped that this will be introduced in early 2020.

Sales manager Markús Vilhjálmsson says the new system will allow people to scan a card or a QR code to pay their fare. Strætó also plans to make it possible for people to pay with contactless credit cards. This should make it easier for bus drivers to do their jobs and for passengers to buy tickets. Forged paper bus tickets have been a major problem for Strætó, says Markús, but the contactless system should eliminate that issue.

The Strætó smartphone app makes it possible for passengers to purchase tickets in-app and then activate them on buses, but they must have an internet connection to do this. There have been cases of riders complaining that they can’t connect to the on-bus wifi and in a few select cases, children have been prevented from boarding buses when they weren’t able to show a valid ticket on their phones. (Markús noted that it’s Strætó’s policy that children in particular should be given the benefit of the doubt in such cases, but there have been cases of drivers enforcing the rules too strictly.) However, about 40% of ticket purchases are made through the Strætó app, Markús concluded, which is a good indication that passengers are largely satisfied with it.

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