Frequently Asked Questions

How to Use Smartcards

What is a Smartcard and how does it work?

Smartcards are credit card sized plastic cards that replace the need for the conventional paper tickets.

To use the Smartcard all you have to do is board the bus as usual and place your card on the ticket machine whilst informing the driver which ticket you wish to use on your card. The light on the machine then goes green meaning you can continue boarding the bus.

A picture of a smartcard

Where can I get a Smartcard?

What services accept Smartcards?

How do I use my Smartcard?

To pay with your sQuid Travel Purse: Just advise the driver that you are paying by ePurse, ask for the ticket you want and then hold your card against the ticket machine.

To use a ticket: If you already have a valid bus ticket on your card, all you have to do is hold your card against the reader.

How do I collect / activate my ticket?

You may collect your ticket on a Smartcard collection point at Bristol Park and Ride sites or on bus from 6am the following day (for tickets purchased before 11pm the previous day).


The on bus collection facility is not avaialble on services run by FirstBus.

Types of Tickets

Pay-As-You-Go travel balance with the sQuid e-purse

When you register your smartcard and buy tickets, you can also register your card to be used as a sQuid Travel Purse. This means it can be used for cashless payments, which could be useful for passengers who are not frequent travellers. You can buy your tickets, or top up your Pay-As-You-Go e-purse creditonline before 23:00 on the day before you wish to travel to guarantee that your ticket will be available to pick up on participating buses by 06:00 the next day.

What tickets are available and where can I buy them?

What are Bristol Park & Ride Multiple Day Rider tickets?

Multiple Day Rider tickets entitle you to unlimited travel on any of 5, 10 or 20 days on Bristol Park & Ride services.

What is an Wessex Smart Single ticket?

A Smart Single is a special ticket available to Travelwest smartcard holders using the service 42 from Odd Down Park & Ride to the RUH.  The Smart Single offers all the savings, and more, that passengers normally get when buying a 10 journey ticket on the service. Click here to find out more about these tickets.

Do the tickets on my Smartcard have an expiration date?

Unused tickets will expire 6 months after purchase.

Does my Pay-As-You-Go balance have an expiration date?

Unused balance will never expire, but administration charges may apply after 12 months. Please visit sQuid for information.


What happens if I don’t buy my tickets or top up my Pay-As-You-Go e-purse before 23:00 the previous day?

Your top up will not be available to pick up. If you don't have a valid ticket or enough money on your card then you will be asked to pay the correct cash fare.

What if my card gets lost or stolen?

If you have previously registered your card, log on to your Travelwest account and report your card as lost. The sooner you do this the sooner your tickets and any sQuid Travel Purse balance will be protected.

If you haven’t yet registered your card, get a new card by going to the Travelwest smartcard web site, create an account, and request a card. If your card is not registered then any remaining credit or tickets are not protected and cannot be transferred to your new card.

What happens if my Smartcard is not working?

You will need to make sure that you have valid tickets loaded onto your card, or enough money in your Pay-As-You-Go e-purse to pay for your fare. You can check this on your Travelwest account and on bus. If you are still experiencing problems, telephone the helpline. Please note that after using your card on bus it will take approximately 24 hours for your online account to be updated to account of any tickets used or added to your card.

What should I do if my Smartcard hasn't arrived yet?

Your card should arrive within 7 working days. If you have been waiting longer than this, please phone the telephone helpline

Buying Online

What is the difference between Active, Pending and Expired tickets?

Active tickets are ready to be used.


Pending tickets are awaiting collection/activation. To do this you must collect your ticket on a Smartcard collection point at Park and Ride sites or on bus from 6am the following day (for tickets purchased before 11pm the previous day).


Expired tickets are no longer valid. You cannot re-activate an expired ticket, you must purchase new tickets.

What payment methods are accepted?

Credit or Debit. Payment options are displayed as part of the payment process.

Do I get an invoice when I buy online?

You will receive an email confirmation which should be kept as proof of purchase



Who do I contact to report an issue with the website?

Please visit our Contact Us page.