mTickets FAQ’s First Bus

mTickets are the most convenient way to buy tickets 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Simply download the First Bus App and you’ll be able to buy tickets on your phone any time of day. With a wide range available, including weekly and monthly tickets, you can make your purchase in advance. Simply scan your mobile ticket when you hop on board, and you’re ready to go.

You can buy tickets securely through the app with your bank card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, and speed up future purchases with the handy ‘Buy Again’ option.

Scroll down for the answers to some of our commonly asked questions.

Download and start using the app

How to buy a ticket in the First Bus App


Have a few questions about mTickets?

Using the app is easy, but you may have a question or two about mobile tickets (mTickets) so here are our most asked questions to help:

Buying mTickets

Buying tickets is easy! Tap the mTickets button in the app, choose a ticket category, select your ticket from the product catalogue and then simply choose a payment method.

Your selected First Bus region/area is shown on the First mTickets screen; if you need to change it, tap on the area name to choose a different area.

There is no minimum purchase. You can simply buy the ticket you want in advance of your journey or buy several at once.

All of your purchased tickets are automatically put in your wallet and stored there until ‘activated’ so you’ll always be ready for your bus journey.

We have a whole range of tickets available, these vary depending on the area of travel. Check the tickets in your local area to see details:

Choose Your Area
Berkshire & The Thames Valley
Bright Bus Tours
Bristol, Bath and the West
Greater Glasgow
Greater Manchester
Halifax, Calder Valley & Huddersfield
Norfolk & Suffolk
Portsmouth, Fareham & Gosport
South & West Wales
South East and Central Scotland
South Yorkshire
Wessex, Dorset & South Somerset

Yes!  You can active multiple tickets at the same time, on the same device.

This feature is available in the First Bus App version 4.5.0 or above, so please make sure you have the latest version.

You can pay by card (Mastercard or Visa Credit or Visa Debit cards), PayPal, Apple Pay (on iPhones), Pay by Google Pay (on Android phones). Sorry, we don’t accept Maestro or Electron cards.

To set up a payment card, click on the payment methods screen, select the ‘Visa / Mastercard / PayPal’ button. Enter the details of your card. Once entered, your card details are then encrypted and stored securely by the system so you can reuse the card without having to enter the details again. The next time you make a purchase, the most recently used card (or PayPal account) is presented as the default option. If you want to use a previously entered card or enter a new one, select ‘Change Payment Method’.

On the payment methods screen, select the ‘Visa / Mastercard / PayPal’ button.

On the next page select ‘PayPal Check Out’ and the PayPal login screen will be shown.

Enter your PayPal email address and password. If you want to be able to make future PayPal purchases on our app with this account, click the ‘Stay Logged in for faster checkout’ tickbox. Then select the card you want to use via PayPal and press Continue. The next time you make a purchase, your PayPal account will be presented as the default option. If you want to use a previously entered card or enter a new one instead, select ‘Change Payment Method’.

On the payment methods screen, select the ‘Apple Pay’ button. On the Apple Pay panel, select the card you want to use (of those stored in the Apple Pay wallet) and unlock your screen with your password or fingerprint. The transaction will complete in a few moments. 

Receipts are sent to the email linked with the account at the time of purchase. If you’re going to need your receipt, we would recommend double checking your account details are correct before making a ticket purchase.

Please note that this purchase receipt is not valid for travel, and you will need to show the driver your active mTicket displayed on the app.

We can only provide refunds for un-activated tickets; any activated tickets are non-refundable. However, if you have an annual or long term student ticket, then we will listen to your particular case and see if we can help you.  Please contact the mTicket support team on:  (9am – 5.30pm Monday to Friday except bank holidays)

03300 947 577.  (7am – 10pm, seven days a week)

Using mTickets

The First Bus App supports versions above and including iOS 10.1 and Android 5. Google Play Services support for 4.0 ended in February 2019. Unfortunately, the Windows operating system is no longer supported; Microsoft discontinued updates for Windows Mobile in 2017.

You need an internet/data connection to purchase an mTicket. A weak phone signal when you board your bus should not be a problem. However, the First Bus App does need to communicate with our system on a regular basis to keep itself up to date when you’re out and about, so long periods without connection may cause an issue.

Please note the app is not designed to work with Wi-Fi only devices such as tablets and iPods.

If you have GPS location services enabled on your phone and for the app, selecting this will display your closest First Bus areas.

To change area on the app, please go to the mTickets area on the app and then select the area that you’re wanting to travel in. 

Once a ticket is purchased and downloaded, it will appear in the ‘wallet’ of the mTicket section of the app. Tickets in this section are listed from the oldest at the top to the newest at the bottom.

When you want to use a ticket, select the one you want and then select ‘Activate Now’.

You’ll then be informed of how long the ticket will be active for, before confirming that you want to activate this ticket. We would advise reading this carefully to avoid activating unwanted tickets.

Once activated, the app will generate a moving ticket image on your phone’s screen and a QR code. This will stay active for the remainder of the ticket’s validity and will include the time and a four letter ‘word of the day’.

You’ll need to scan the QR when you board the bus.

As long as you have purchased a valid ticket for each person travelling and have version 4.5 (or newer) of the First Bus App you can activate multiple tickets at the same time from the same mTickets account.

Yes, but you need to ensure you have version 4.5 (or newer) of the First Bus App and you have purchased a valid ticket for each person travelling.

Generally, mTickets will stay in your virtual wallet for 90days, with the exception of some Airport tickets that are 30 days unless stated within the ticket details on the app.

The validity of single tickets varies across each First Bus region. For the most part, single tickets will remain valid for either 5 or 15 minutes once activated. The app will remind you of this before activating one.

Customers can send tickets to a child or young person by using the sharing feature on child and young person tickets. As it stands, this function is only available for child tickets – adult tickets cannot be shared. Please visit our ticket gifting page for more information.

The First Bus App is only designed to work with one device per account. However should customers purchase a new handset, or lose or damage their current device, they will be able to transfer their tickets over.

To do this:

1. Log off from your mTicket account on your old phone (if possible).
2. Download the app and login to your mTicket account on your new phone
3. Check the Ticket Wallet screen. You should find a green panel containing a button to start the transfer process.

If the button is not visible, please ensure you have a data connection and refresh the app (on an iPhone tap the screen three times, or on Android select Refresh from the menu button).

Customers are able to complete the above process twice a month but further requests are subject to approval by a member of our mTickets team. Please don’t attempt to share your ticket with anyone else.

If an inspector asks to check your ticket, please show them the active ticket in your mTickets wallet as you would do the driver. For those who boarded using a single ticket which has since expired, the inspector will still be able to see this under the ‘expired’ tab in your wallet.

No; while you don’t need an internet connection at the point you ‘activate’ an already purchased ticket, a regular internet connection is required by the app to keep content up to date and secure.

The validity of mTickets is similar to paper tickets. This means a day ticket is not valid for 24 hours, but rather the remainder of the day on which it is activated.

For example, typical validities are as follows:

  • FirstDay – the remainder of the day the ticket is activated
  • FirstWeek – the remainder of the day the ticket is activated plus a further 6 days
  • FirstMonth – the remainder of the day the ticket is activated plus a further number of days in the month less one
  • First4Week – the remainder of the day the ticket is activated plus a further 27 days

We also include a period of grace past midnight, so if our services end at 2am locally, the period 00:00 to 02:00 forms part of the previous day and the hours & minutes countdown shown on the mTickets screen reflects this.

Please note that any expiry date shown in words on the ticket screen is the last full day of the ticket, and does not reflect the period beyond midnight. This is so customers do not wrongly believe they have an additional full day’s travel.

Help and useful information

Missing tickets are generally caused by your mTicket account becoming logged out, or a prolonged loss of internet connection. To restore your tickets, please make sure you have a good network connection and refresh from the Options button (iPhone) or Menu button (Android). All tickets in your account should reappear after a few seconds.

If your QR code is not being picked up by the scanner, don’t worry, your ticket is still valid, just show the ticket to the driver.

Take a look at these hints and tips which should help with this:

  • Make sure you are using the correct ticket for the bus services and zones for your journey.
  • Make sure your phone’s app and operating system are updated to the latest versions.
  • Turn up the screen brightness if possible.
  • Through the settings on your phone, ensure the time on your phone is set to automatic.

We do not issue paper copies of mTickets. You will receive an email receipt when you make your purchase, but this will not be valid for travel.

With mTickets, it is the responsibility of the customer to ensure a working mobile phone is available to show the driver the ticket screen. If there is a problem with the system, please let us know and we’ll do our best to help.

It is your responsibility to ensure that your phone has enough battery power to be able to show a valid mTicket to the driver and any inspector throughout your journey. If you cannot do this, you will need to buy a ticket from the driver using contactless or cash.

If you are still experiencing difficulties please contact the mTicket support team on:  (9am – 5.30pm Monday to Friday except bank holidays)

03300 947 577.  (7am – 10pm, seven days a week)


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