A new, flexible ‘Saver Card’ system for foot passengers of the Cowes/East Cowes floating bridge will start on 1 June.

The cards operate in a similar way to the London transport ‘Oyster Cards’. Foot passengers will be able to ‘touch in’ their saver cards as they get on the floating bridge. From 1 June 2106 the cards will be read by the floating bridge staff with handheld readers; but once the new floating bridge is in use from January 2017, static card readers will be positioned at entry points on the bridge.

Cards can be purchased from 18 May from the ticket office at Cowes, between 9am and 5pm. The cards cost an initial £2 to buy and can then loaded with credit for foot passenger trips across the River Medina on the floating bridge. Cards need to be registered online via the new floating bridge website from 18 May: Cards can then be loaded with credit.

Foot passengers can ‘top up’ their saver cards online via the website or using cash or card payments via the onsite ticket machines. It is suggested that, where possible, credit should be purchased online in advance to avoid queues on site. Pay-as-you-go tickets can also be purchased from the onsite ticket machines.

From 1 June individual foot passenger return fares will be £1, for all foot passengers aged over 18. However, ‘saver card’ users will receive a 30 per cent discount on each return trip, at 70 pence once cards are registered online. Vehicle fares will not change. Bus pass holders that have previously travelled free of charge will now not receive any concession to travel.

Councillor Shirley Smart, Executive Member for Public Transport and Tourism, said: “This is a really flexible ticket solution. It means that people will no longer have to make sure to have loose change ready to purchase a ticket to travel, and means less queuing and less chance of missing the floating bridge, as their tickets will already be charged.

“It’s a very economical solution. Even if you only travel on the floating bridge once a week, you’ll still save over £15 a year by using the ‘saver card’. I’d encourage everyone; not just regular travellers, to purchase a ‘saver card’ before the changes start; and avoid the queues!”

More info here