FirstGroup (UK) plans to invest £27 million in contactless fare technology for its 5,000-bus fleet. Starting this fall, the new fareboxes will be introduced in cities across England, including Manchester, Leeds, and Southampton. Customers will be able to pay with an ITSO smart card initially; contactless bank cards will be accepted starting next year and the system will eventually accept payment by mobile phone. “This announcement means that ITSO tickets, such as the 10 million concessionary bus passes in circulation, will be read smartly on First’s buses,” said Norman Baker, parliamentary under-secretary of state for transport. “It also means that passengers will have more choice in how they pay for travel on First buses.” Link to full story in Computerworld UK.