September 16 2014 Latest news:
Freddy Mayhew, Reporter
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Cash will no longer be accepted on London buses as of this summer, Tfl has announced.
Cash will not be accepted on any buses from 4.30am on Sunday, July 6
Tfl claims it costs £24 million a year to accept cash on buses
A single Oyster bus fare costs £1.45
A single cash bus fare costs £2.40
There are 24,500 bus drivers in London
1% of passengers pay by cash
Saturday, July 5, will be the last day cash fares will be accepted on any route in the capital.
The decision follows a rise in the number of people paying with Oyster or contactless payment cards.
Transport for London claims cash is now used on just 1 per cent of journeys, down from a quarter at the turn of the millennium, and is expected to continue falling.
Leon Daniels, managing director for Tfl surface transport, said: “As Londoners and visitors change the way they pay for goods and services in the capital I am proud that we are at the forefront of that change.”
The decision to withdraw cash fares was made following a consultation that ran for three months from August last year and attracted more than 37,000 responses.
Tfl estimates it costs them £24 million a year to accept cash on its buses and claims the decision to stop will deliver £130 million in savings over eight years to 2022, which it says will be reinvested in improving transport in the capital.
However, not everyone has supported the decision.
Independent transport watchdog London Travel Watch said while it recognised the benefits for cost and time saving, it had a “number of concerns”.
A spokesman said: “Our view is that removing cash as a means of payment is not acceptable in the current environment.”
In a bid to ensure a smooth transition Tfl said it would be adding more Oyster ticket stops in outer London and would be refreshing guidance for its 24,500 bus drivers.
It is also set to introduce a “one more journey” feature that will allow passengers who do not have sufficient credit for a bus fare, but have a positive balance on their card, to make an additional bus journey.
Currently is costs £1.45 for a single bus journey by Oyster or contactless payment card — capped at £4.40 per day — rising to £2.40 for cash fares.