London buses to go cashless this summer

Hand over a tenner to pay for a bus fare and you are sure to invoke grimacing and muttering from any bus driver as they rummage in their pockets to rustle up the change.

But that is all set to change in London this summer, as the bus network moves to an entirely cashless mode of operation. Indeed, no matter how much money you have, or even if you should happen to hold the correct fare in shiny new coins, you will be going nowhere unless you hold either a valid Oyster card or a contactless debit card.

The move comes as Transport for London (TfL), has predicted that fewer than 1% of all bus journeys will be paid for in cash this year, a fall from 20% just 10 years ago.

The decision was based on a consultation last year in which 37,000 people responded.

To allay concerns over the impact the move could have on vulnerable people or on people in places with minimal access to Oyster top-up facilities, TfL has introduced measures including:

  • The “one more journey” feature on Oyster cards, that will allow customers with less than £1.45 (the price of a single journey) to pay for a single bus ride, as long as their Oyster card is in credit
  • A review of the Oyster Ticket Stop network to see if additional locations can be identified, particularly in outer London
  • Guidelines for all 24,500 London bus drivers to ensure they deal with vulnerable customers consistently

TfL has said the move will deliver £130m in savings.

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