Transport for London (TfL) has announced that cash fares will no longer be accepted on London buses from Sunday 6 July.
The decision to move to cash free bus travel follows a considerable drop in the number of people paying their bus fare in cash.
In 2000 around 25 per cent of journeys were paid for with a cash fare, today that figure stands at around one per cent.
With extensive use of Oyster and over 11 million journeys now made using contactless payment cards, cash usage is expected to fall even further as more customers take advantage of the convenience and cheaper fares these provide.
This change will not affect 99 per cent of bus passengers who already pay for their journeys using Oyster, prepaid tickets, contactless payment cards or concessionary tickets.
The latter group represents a third of all customers and includes children and young people, older and disabled people and the unemployed.
TfL research shows this change is also unlikely to affect tourists as the vast majority use Oyster or a prepaid ticket to get around the capital.
Removing cash fares will also speed up boarding times, leading to faster journeys and will also ensure customers benefit from the best value fare for each journey they make.
As TfL moves to a cash free bus service a number of initiatives are well under way to ensure there is a smooth and trouble free transition for customers.
- A new 'one more journey' feature on Oyster that will allow passengers who do not have sufficient credit for a bus fare, but who have a positive balance on their card, to make one more bus journey
- The Oyster Ticket Stop network has been subject to a review and additional locations added - particularly in outer London
- Refreshed guidance on vulnerable passengers will be provided to all 24,500 London bus drivers
- A major public information campaign will launch in May to provide passengers with advice on the changes
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 at the forefront of that change.
'Customers will not only benefit from a quicker, cheaper and more convenient method of paying their bus fare; it will also enable us to save millions of pounds each year - which will be reinvested in further improvements to the capital's transport network.
'We have listened to the views expressed in response to the public consultation and have delivered a range of measures to ensure a smooth transition for our passengers.
'These include the 'one more journey' feature on Oyster, more Oyster Ticket Stops in outer London and we are also providing our 24,500 bus drivers with refreshed guidance for dealing with vulnerable customers, which has been developed with the help of key stakeholders.'