First Bus has been criticised for axing monthly paper tickets for customers.

Passengers will have to download an app to pay for a four-week pass, but have been accused of “discrimination” and “digital exclusion” for the move.

One customer who relies on the bus to get to work everyday told the Glasgow Times he cannot afford a smartphone so can’t access apps.

Another commuter, Scott Flannagan, claims First Bus aren’t thinking of low income customers as he was told to use a second phone when his mobile runs out of charge.

The National: Scott Flannagan with Firstbus appScott Flannagan with Firstbus app (Image: Gordon Terris)

Scott said: “I do have a smartphone but it doesn’t hold a lot of charge. When I asked First Bus what will I do when it dies? They said to use another phone! I don’t have another phone.

“They aren’t thinking about people who don’t have a lot of money. My friend doesn’t have a phone that has apps and he is just being forgotten about. We can’t just buy new phones or second phones so we can get the bus.

“When I tried to complain on the phone they said I had to do it on the website, which is even more of a digital exclusion for people who aren’t online.

“We rely on monthly paper tickets just to get to work, so to take them off us isn’t right.

“We can get paper daily or weekly tickets, but it would cost a lot more money which isn’t fair.

“At least with the franchising system the passengers will have some sort of say and make the buses accountable.”

The National: The monthly paper ticket will no longer be avaliable The monthly paper ticket will no longer be avaliable (Image: Sourced)

Scott’s friend, who wants to stay anonymous, said: “I have been using the monthly paper backed transcard for years as I find it convenient and very straightforward to use.

“First Bus for some reason have decided to stop this and are forcing me to use the app which takes away my choice as a customer.

“I cannot use the app because my phone is not compatible and it will cost me at least £150 to upgrade to a smartphone, just to use an app.

“I feel this is a form of discrimination and digital exclusion.”

A spokesperson for First Bus said: “Due to the end of our agreement with PayPoint, we can confirm our paper four weekly tickets are no longer available, however it does remain available through digital platforms.

“Customers can still purchase single, return, day or weekly tickets on bus should they be unable to access our digital platforms.

“All First Bus vehicles in Glasgow accept payment via cash, card or contactless methods meaning customers can use whichever method is best suited to them to travel on our services.

“We would encourage as many customers as possible to use the First Bus app as it provides them with the most up-to-date live information, however it is not a necessity to have a smartphone to travel on the bus.”