Photo of the key on a ticket machine

theKey smartcard is one way of buying your bus tickets safely and securely online.  For first time key purhcases there is a £5 administration fee (payable from 17 April 2022). Once you have topped up, it will only take 3 hours for your online bus ticket to load and then your Key card is ready for use on the bus. However, if you want your ticket to be available instantly, why not switch to our bluestar app where your phone becomes your ticket and they are available to use immediately?

If you've registered your Key, we will be able to replace your card and any tickets on it if it gets lost, stolen or damaged. Please note that replacement Key cards cannot be obtained from the travel shop. If you need to replace your card, contact our Customer Services team on 01202 338 420 who can assist you further. A £5 replacement charge applies.

Already got a key? Top up here

How theKey works...

  1. order your card
  2. allow 2 working days for your key to arrive  
  3. login into your account and buy your bus tickets on the theKey portal
  4. wait 3 hours for your online bus ticket to load 
  5. place your key on the ticket machine and wait for the green light!
  6. enjoy travelling & saving with the key!

tickets available on the key

Start saving today. Take a look at ticket prices on the key.

dayrider prices

period pass prices

Already got a key?

Register your details to your key, so you can top-up online. Registering thekey also ensures that should you lose it we can transfer any remaining bus tickets onto a replacement card for you.

register a key card

Don't bin me!

Don’t throw it away. You can use the same key card time and time again.

If you lose your key, check first to see if it has been handed in to our lost property department.

If you are still unable to find your missing key card you can contact our Customer Service team to arrange a replacement card. Please be aware that there is a £5 admin charge for replacement cards.