London`s buses are now cash-free
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Last Updated: Sunday, July 06, 2014, 15:00
London: Cash can no longer be used on any of London's buses, a cost-cutting measure that could save Transport of London (TfL) 24 million pounds a year.

Passengers will need a prepaid or concessionary ticket, Oyster card or a contactless payment card to travel on London's buses from today.

TfL said only 0.7 per cent of all bus journeys were paid for with cash and that tourists were unlikely to be affected. TfL said its research showed the move was unlikely to affect tourists "as the vast majority use a prepaid ticket, such as a Visitor Oyster, to get around the capital".

Last month, TfL introduced the "one more journey" feature for Oyster users, allowing passengers to make one further trip if they have insufficient credit on their card, which TfL said had benefitted around 44,000 customers a day.

"Removing cash from our bus network not only offers customers a quicker and more efficient bus service but it enables us to make savings of 24 million pounds a year which will be re-invested to further improve London's transport network," Mike Weston, TfL's director of buses, said.

The removal of cash fares will deliver 130 million pounds savings to 2022/23 and this will be reinvested in improving transport in British capital, TfL said.

But Green Party London Assembly member Darren Johnson said questions remained over whether passengers who lost or damaged their Oyster cards would be allowed to travel at all.

Johnson noted that more than 2,100 Oyster cards were lost, stolen or stopped working on the average day last year. However, TfL defended its action, saying the decision to move to cash free bus travel follows a considerable drop in the number of people paying their bus fare in cash.

A decade ago around 25 per cent of journeys were paid for with a cash fare with that figure now falling to less than one per cent, TfL said.


First Published: Sunday, July 06, 2014, 15:00

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