South East Wales

Newport Bus launches new Freedom smartcard

Newport Bus Freedom smartcard
Image caption The card will reduce the need for paper tickets

Transport officials say bus passengers in Newport are being offered an easier way to pay for their journeys with the launch of a pay-as-you-go smartcard.

The Freedom card can store up to £50 of credit and can be used on Newport Bus services as an alternative to paying cash for paper tickets.

Newport Transport said the card would give passengers a "flexible and convenient" way of using bus services.

Cardiff Bus launched a similar pay-as-you-go card in October 2010.

The free, plastic smartcard can be credited on Newport buses or at the city's bus station.

When placed on a ticket machine the card will deduct the cost of the journey from the credit stored on the card.

Image caption Smartcards are already available across Wales for people entitled to free travel

The smartcards can be used on Newport Bus services around the city and to Cardiff and Cwmbran.

People will also be allowed to lend the card to others or pay for friends and family travelling with them.

Scott Pearson, managing director of Newport Transport, called it a "landmark step".

The council-owned bus company first launched smartcards in May 2010 offering unlimited travel for a week, a month or a year, under the name Passport.

Smartcards have also been issued previously for residents of Wales entitled to free bus travel.

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