Contactless Payment Launched on Buses & Trams

On-board contactless payment has been made available to use on all Florence urban and suburban buses and trams starting in March 2024. Every bus and tram in the Florence metro area now accepts contactless card payment from Mastercard, Visa and American Express cards. The system also accepts smartphone payments through functions such as ApplePay, GooglePay, and SamsungPay. The contactless tickets function similarly to normal bus and tram tickets, costing €1,70 each with Florence urban tickets being valid for 90 minutes and suburban tickets lasting 70 minutes.

How to use contactless payment aboard buses and trams:

Tap your card or smartphone on the contactless machines aboard the bus or tram, if you see a green light on the machine after tapping, you have purchased a ticket. If you do not see a place to tap your card, ensure you are using the black contactless payment machines and not the yellow ticket validation machines.

If you do not see a green light or a red light flashes instead, your payment is not approved, and you do not have a valid ticket.

You will not automatically receive a physical or digital receipt from at-bus. If you would like to track your purchases and see receipts, you can enter your card info into the at-bus portal.

If your card does not have enough balance for the ticket, the card will be blacklisted by the system, meaning it can never be used aboard the bus again.

If asked for a ticket by an inspector, passengers who paid with contactless must present the card that used to buy the ticket. This can be done by showing the physical card or the digital card on your smartphone wallet. Inspectors have access to a list of passengers who paid with contactless and their card information.

Because you will not receive a physical or digital ticket, it is important to keep track of the time you bought your ticket and tap again if your time runs out to avoid a fine.

On urban transportation, passengers must tap as they board every bus or tram they get on, even within a single 90-minute ticket period. On suburban buses, passengers must tap both on and off each bus they ride within the 70-minute ticket time. There is no charge for tapping again during a ticket period, tapping on each bus simply validates your ticket for that bus.

As of right now the contactless ticketing system is in a testing phase and has some limitations. Each card or device can only be used for one ticket at a time. However, a single bank account can support a maximum of three separate passengers using different devices. One passenger can use a physical card, a second can use the same card on a smartphone, and a third can use the card on a wearable device such as an Apple Watch. Currently, the system does not accept alternative digital payment options like ApplePay cash, VPAY or Maestro. These restrictions make it complicated for families or couples to use contactless payment on the same card. Contactless ticketing is easiest for riders who are not sharing their bank card with another person in Florence.

Contactless payment right now is complicated, but it is a good back up option for those who find themselves without a paper or digital ticket, or who are unfamiliar with the at-bus system. Transit tickets can also be bought digitally on the at-bus app or in presence at ticket machines and authorized resellers around Florence.  See all locations here.   (Amaya Gallay)