More passengers paid with contactless and mobile apps rather than cash on local bus routes for the first time in FirstGroup's history, the company has said.
The Aberdeen-based firm said 43% of payments were made by cash, but 45% were made through non-cash methods.
The remainder came from ticket sales via third parties.
The announcement came as the transport giant reported a half year loss of £187m.
Shares in FirstGroup fell on the results.
Announcing the losses in the six months to the end of September, the company said it had to write down the value of its US coach business Greyhound, which it is in the process of selling.
Chief executive Matthew Gregory said several interested parties had come forward.
"We've had huge amounts of interest in the process. Everyone knows the business very well," he said.
"We expected a lot of people to have a look at it and the best people get to the front. As always, these things are never done until they're done."
FirstGroup takes over the West Coast Main Line from Virgin Trains next month, as part of a joint venture with Italian-owned Trenitalia.