All elderly given bus smart cards
A £2.2 million bus smart card system has been rolled out to all concessionary users.
OneCards are now being used by thousands of elderly and disabled bus passengers in the county, completing phase one of the scheme.
All passengers in Leicestershire could be using them by 2014.
Electronic chips fitted to OneCard passes can be swiped on scanners on First, Centrebus and Arriva buses to register journeys, meaning passes no longer have to be shown.
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Passengers top up their cards with cash when necessary.
Leicester City Council transport spokesman Councillor Rory Palmer said: "The OneCard system is now fully operational for concessionary pass users in Leicester and Leicestershire. This system is working well and proves that the technology works.
"The next phase is to develop the system for all bus users and across different operators.
"This is a huge project for the city council and for the bus companies and it is likely to be a year or two before we can fully offer this service.
"Along with real-time bus information, we are confident the One Card system will play a major role in modernising and improving bus travel."
Valarie Platt, 67, of Thurmaston, said: "I find the system much easier.
"I don't have to linger at the front while the bus is moving, I can just quickly swipe and find a seat."
Sheila Kirkham, 78, of Western Park, Leicester, said: "The Oyster card system works very well in London so I'm surprised it has taken so long for it to come to Leicester.
"It has made a real difference and I'm sure a lot of people will use it when it becomes available to everyone."
Ben Scatterty, 20, a student from the city centre, said: "It's not as vital in Leicester as in London – and the system in London has come under fire .
"I would imagine for people who use buses frequently it could be beneficial."
Elliott Butlin, 20, a student from the city centre, said: "It needs to have a clear system for payments for it to be effective.
"Personally, I wouldn't get it because I don't use buses enough.
"But I would certainly say people would find it useful and I can imagine it would be quick and easy to use."