July 7, 2014
On 6th July 2014, Transport for London (TFL) announced that Londoners and tourists would no longer be able to pay for bus journey with coins or notes, as the capital’s bus network goes cash-free.
People are now only able pay for the bus with an Oyster card, a contactless payment card, or a prepaid or concessionary ticket as part of the new system that came into force at 04:30 BST on Sunday 6 July.
TFK says that the removal of cash fares follows dwindling numbers of people using money on busses. A decade ago 25% of fares were paid for with cash, whereas this year less than 1% of journeys have been paid for this way.
As a result, the vast majority of passengers will feel no impact from the change, and TfL says the move to cashless fares will save £24 million a year, with an overall planned saving of £130 million by 2023, which it says it will use to reinvest in improving transport in the capital.
Tourists are unlikely to be affected by the changes either, as the majority use a prepaid ticket such as a Visitor Oyster, the company said.
However, TfL has introduced a number of initiatives aimed to help ease the move to cashless transactions, including the ‘One More Journey’ feature for pay-as-you-go Oyster cards, which allows passengers to go in to negative credit for one trip when their cards have run out.
Mike Weston, director of busses at TfL, said: The way our customers pay for goods and services is evolving, so we need to ensure our ticketing evolves too.