Capital’s cashless payment consultation

TfL has launched a public consultation seeking customers’ views on proposals to withdraw cash fare payments on London buses by 2014. This year cash fares are estimated to make up less than 1% of bus journeys, down from 25% in 2000. Paying with Oyster or a contactless payment card guarantees the cheapest fare, currently £1 less than paying by cash. According to TfL, making this change would benefit all customers by speeding up boarding times at stops and reducing delays. It claims it would also help it deliver up to £24m per annum of savings, which it says would then be reinvested in improving the transport network. The authority cites research that suggests those that do pay by cash on the capital’s buses do so because they have insufficient funds on their Oyster card. TfL is also looking to introduce a new Oyster feature that will allow passengers to make one more bus journey if there are insufficient funds on their smartcard.

MD for TfL Surface Transport, Leon Daniels, said, ‘The proposals we are consulting on reflect the changing way that our customers pay for their journeys, with the vast majority now benefiting from the best possible fares and the convenience that Oyster and contactless payment cards deliver. It costs £24m a year to accept cash on buses and with so few customers paying cash it makes sense for us to consider removing it.’

The consultation closes on 11 October 2013.

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