Cash-Free Buses Coming Soon To London

TfL say Oyster popularity means big drop in cash transactions

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London’s buses will go cash-free from Sunday 6th July, after which passengers will need an Oyster card, contactless debit or credit card or pre-paid ticket to travel.

The decision to axe cash fares was taken following a public consultation last year. Over the past decade passengers have increasingly adopted the capital’s Oyster smartcard system which offers cheaper fares than paying with cash.

In response to concerns raised during the consultation period about passengers finding themselves stranded, TfL will allow passengers who have insufficient credit, but who have a balance of £0.00 or higher, to make a single bus journey.

According to Transport for London, Oyster’s popularity has seen cash transaction on buses fall from 20 percent of journeys in 2003 to less than one percent last year and the acceptance of contactless debit and credit cards on buses means the number of cash transactions is likely to fall further.

The transport company says the abolition of cash fares is expected to free up £24m per year in processing and banking fees which can be re-invested in the bus network.

TfL say the change “will not affect 99 per cent of bus passengers who already pay for their journeys using Oyster, prepaid tickets, contactless payment cards or concessionary tickets.”

The number of Oyster Ticket Stops has been reviewed and more locations added to ensure passengers can top-up when needed and drivers have been given “refreshed guidance” on what to do if a vulnerable passenger lacks a valid ticket and needs to complete their journey says TfL.

April 10, 2014