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Get ready to GO! with First Bus Essex

Welcome aboard!

You are joining many others across Essex who are swapping the car for two months of free bus travel. Whether you’ve decided to swap your car commute for bus to make better use of your time spent in rush-hour traffic, avoid weekend parking fees on trips into town, or simply want to try a more active and sustainable means of getting around, with your two-month ticket to ride you’ll soon be on your way.

We’ve done our best to make it easier and more rewarding than ever for you to swap the car for bus. On this page you’ll find all of the details you need to access your free bus ticket, plan your journeys using the First Bus App and start using the bus. And don’t forget – the more you use your ticket, the more chances you’ll have to win £50.00 in Love2Shop or e-vouchers as part of our weekly prize draws.

Using your First Bus ticket and app

Your ticket will activate on Monday 4 October 2021 and you can use it until midnight on Sunday 28 November 2021.

You can also use your ticket on services provided by our other partnering operators: Arriva, Hedingham and Stephensons of Essex. Just show the driver your ticket quoting Stop.Swap.GO! and ask for a receipt.

A list of helpful steps and information for First Bus passengers which guides them through how to plan a bus journey, use the mobile ticketing app and successfully get a bus to their destination. It reads:

Steps 1-3 – Before you travel
1.	Open the First Bus App, click ‘Go to Wallet’ and check your ticket is valid. 
2.	Use the journey planner to find your nearest bus stop and plan your walking and bus routes from home to your destination. 
3.	Check the app for live service times, and your next bus, before heading out. 

Steps 4-8 – Using the bus
4.	At the bus stop, open your ticket and click ‘Activate’ just before boarding. 
5.	Jump on board. Scan your ticket – or, if you’re using another bus operator’s service, quote Stop.Swap.GO! to the driver and ask for a receipt. 
6.	Enjoy the ride. Read a book, listen to a podcast or watch the world go by. 
7.	Ding the bell as you approach your stop to let the driver know you want to get off. 
8.	Keep a good thing going: when your free ticket expires, purchase a new one via the First Bus app and away you go. 

The final part of the list reminds people that the more they use their bus ticket as part of Stop.Swap.GO!, the more chances they’ll have of winning an Amazon or Love2Shop e-voucher worth £50.00 as part of a weekly prize draw.

For more information about Stop.Swap.GO! Bus and our weekly prize draws check out our FAQs page.

For more information about First Essex buses, services and timetables, visit For First Bus App support, use the webform or call 0345 646 0707 (9am-6pm, Monday to Friday).


If you haven’t downloaded your free two-month ticket yet, don’t worry. Follow these simple steps

  1. Download the First Bus App - Android users, click here - Apple users, click here

  2. Open the app and set region to ‘Essex’

  3. Create an account

  4. Go to: Profile > Your M-Tickets Account > Sign in > Create an account