Tap On, Tap Off

tap on tap off

We know that plans change so you may not be able to choose the best ticket to suit your needs at the beginning of your day.  At Cardiff Bus we are happy to offer Tap On, Tap Off to make buying adult single and day tickets easier and more convenient.

Tap On, Tap Off is as simple as it sounds, you tap on by placing your contactless bank card or enabled device onto the ticket machine reader when you board the bus and tap off on the designated card reader when you leave.  Our smart system will work out the best ticket option for you based on your journeys, so you won’t get charged more than the price of a day ticket. 

You can view your journeys and transactions here.

Don’t forget to tap off!

Tap On, Tap Off is currently only available for adult single or day tickets across all our services.  Other tickets such as our weekly, 4 weekly and annual tickets remain the best value for money for those travelling often.

Always have your phone or card on you? Perfect, that’s all you need! If you are unsure of what Tap On, Tap Off involves, take a look at our FAQs below.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Tap On, Tap Off?

Tap On, Tap Off is a quick and easy way to travel without the inconvenience of purchasing specific tickets every time you travel. If you don’t know how many journeys you’ll be taking in a day the system will calculate the best value ticket for you so you’re not spending more than you need to.  You simply Tap On using a contactless payment method on the driver’s ticket machine and Tap Off on the card reader on your way out.

We will work out the correct fare for your journey based on where you board and exit the bus. You will NOT be overcharged as long as you remember to Tap Off upon leaving the bus so we can work out the correct fare to charge you.

There is no need to inform the driver of where you’re going, just let them know you’ll be Tapping On, keep an eye out for your stop, and Tap Off as you alight the bus.

Where can I travel with Tap On, Tap Off?

You can travel on all Cardiff Bus routes using Tap On, Tap Off. To plan the route of your next journey, use our Journey Planner.

How are the fares calculated?

Your fares are calculated based on how many journeys you make and where you travel on that day.

  • Tapping on and off for one journey will amount to a single adult fare for that trip
  • Making multiple journeys throughout the day will amount to your fare being capped at the price of an adult day ticket.
  • The day ticket you're charged for will be based on the fare zones you travel within. 
  • If you don’t tap out you’ll be charged for the full single fare or capped at the 'plus' ticket if you’re travelling on routes outside the Cardiff zone

Which payment methods can I use?

You can pay for your fare with:

  • Contactless cards
  • Apple Pay
  • Google Pay

To avoid multiple charges, please keep your payment method away from any other cards, phones or watches as you tap on/off.    You must always use the same card or device.

When will I be charged?

We’ll take a 10p holding fee when you tap on but you’ll be charged your fare a day or two after your journeys when the correct fare has been worked out.  The 10p holding fee will be incorporated into your fare so you’re not paying any more to use this service.

Why did you take payment at 2AM – I wasn’t travelling at that time?

This is payment for a previous day’s travel. When you tap your card, we don’t charge you immediately because we don’t know how much your daily fare will be at that point as this depends on any other journeys you might take that during the rest of the day.

Can I check what I have been charged?

Yes.  You can create an account with our partner Littlepay and view all the journeys you’ve made as well as the fare you’ve been charged.

View journeys and transactions here.

Passback Setting for Tapping On

Only one person can use Tap on, Tap off on one card, fares cannot be shared for Tap on, Tap off regardless of how many people you are travelling with. When using Tap on, Tap off, an individual pays for one ticket when tapping on. A 120 second setting is in place meaning that when a customer taps on, they cannot tap off for two-minutes. This is in place to ensure the smooth running of this system.

Is Tap on, Tap off suitable for all customers?

At the moment this service is only available for our adult tickets.  It is not valid for child, My Travel Pass, family or group tickets, or tickets for longer durations.

What happens if I forget to Tap Off?

You will be charged a single fare until the end of the route, which may result in a higher fare being charged than you would otherwise have paid. It is important that you always Tap Off to ensure that you are charged for the correct fare, especially if the route you're travelling on crosses fare boundaries or if you are travelling within a local zone.

For example, if you are travelling on a 94 between Cardiff and Penarth you must tap off to ensure you're not charged until the end of the route in Barry.

What happens if the bus breaks down?

Normally you will be able to tap off part way through your journey and our driver will be able to transfer any passengers to a another vehicle free of charge, however depending on the circumstances this may not always be possible. You can view journeys and transactions here, and if you don't believe the right amount has been charged please get in touch. If you need to purchase a new ticket on the app, from our driver (not using Tap On, Tap Off) or another bus operator please save the ticket & details and get in touch.

Can I use Tap On, Tap Off to purchase multiple tickets at once?

Tap On, Tap Off can only be used individually. If you are travelling with others, each person who is travelling and wishes to Tap On, Tap Off, must do so with their own method of contactless payment. We also offer discounted family & group tickets through the app, which can be purchased and held by one person.

Can I swap between cards and payment methods?

When travelling with Tap On, Tap Off, you must use the same contactless payment method for all your journeys. If you use virtual cards (such as Apple Pay or Google Pay) these are not the same as the physical version of your card, and so you cannot switch between these. 

Can I still pay via contactless for other tickets?

Yes, just ask the driver for the ticket you’d like to purchase and pay via contactless as normal.

Card clash

If you pay via cash, concessionary pass, iff card or mobile ticket, please keep other methods of payment away from the ticket machine. 

If you're paying by mobile ticket your Google or Apple Pay will not be picked up when the Cardiff Bus app is open and you'll see a message like the one below.

Error message showing: payment cards in Wallet will not work automatically when Cardiff Bus is in use.

What should I do if there are issues with my payment?

If this happens, please get in touch with our friendly Customer Service team and they will help you resolve any issues you may encounter.

You can contact our Customer Service team by:

See you on board soon!