Transport for London (TfL) is proposing to go cashless on its bus services in 2014. If, after consultation, the proposal is approved the option to pay by cash will be removed on all TfL bus services.
Since the introduction of the Oyster card in 2003 and the launch of contactless payment cards (CPC) on London buses last year, more and more passengers are now appreciating the convenience and value for money these options offer. This year cash fares are expected to fall to less than 1% of total bus journeys, down from 20% ten years ago. With such low levels of cash use and the cost to TfL of providing for cash payment, alongside the cheaper alternative payment options Oyster and CPC, TfL has decided that now is the time to ask for peoples views on going cashless.
Why are we consulting?
If we go cashless we will remove the delays with cash that will benefit everyone.
Cash payers would benefit from a cheaper fare, saving around £1 a trip as they switch to pay as you go (PAYG) Oyster or CPC.
The cost of collecting such low levels of cash is high. TfL would save £24m a year by 2020 that would be reinvested into the transport network for the benefit of everyone.
By removing cash, people with an Oyster card or CPC will need to remember their card and have enough credit on it.
Paying with Oyster or CPC guarantees the cheapest fare. But if people don’t have enough credit on their Oyster card TfL is considering introducing a new Oyster feature that will allow passengers to make one more bus journey, helping them get home or to the nearest station or Oyster Ticket Stop. This negative balance on their card would be removed on the next successful pay-as-you-go top-up.
What are we proposing?
We are proposing to remove the option to pay by cash on TfL bus services in 2014.
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