Contactless cards’ first anniversary
TfL has celebrated a successful first year of accepting contactless payment cards on all London’s 8,500 buses. It was launched on 13 December 2012, when 2,061 customers made 2,586 journeys using the system. Over 6.5m journeys have now been made using an American Express, MasterCard or Visa Europe contactless payment card. TfL claims usage continues to rise strongly and now an average of around 33,000 bus journeys a day are paid for in this way. Around 1,300 new cards are used each day, allowing passengers to pay the cheaper PAYG fare rather than using cash. Contactless payment was launched on buses first to raise awareness and instigate a smooth transition into the wider roll out. There have been no technical issues since the system launched, according to TfL, which continues to work closely with the payments industry to prepare for the next phases.
The top five bus routes for contactless payments over an eight week period to 3 December 2013 and consistently over the last year have been route 38 from Clapton Pond to Victoria, route 73 from Victoria to Stoke Newington, route 55 from Leyton to Oxford Circus, route 243 from Wood Green to Waterloo and route 149 from Edmonton Green to London Bridge. The top five bus stops where passengers have boarded and touched in with their contactless payment card in the same period have been London Bridge/Duke Street Hill, Angel Station/Duncan Street, Eden Street/Lady Booth Road, Kingston, Tottenham Court Road Station/New Oxford Street, and Shoreditch High Street/Bethnal Green Road.
TfL’s Director of Customer Experience, Shashi Verma, said, ‘It is fantastic that so many people are taking advantage of the ease and convenience of using their contactless payment cards to pay their bus fares. Each week we are setting a new record for usage which gives us great confidence for when we launch on the rest of the network and make contactless fully integrated next year.’