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Olympics false start for TfL as London contactless bank card plan is delayed

23 May 2012  |  7884 views  |  0 London -- Routemaster red double decker bus

Transport for London (TfL) has delayed the roll out of a system enabling travellers to pay for their journeys using contactless bank cards.

TfL confirmed last February that it will upgrade all Oyster card readers across the capital to work at the touch of a bank-issued debit or credit card. It had hoped to have the new system up and running on all of London's 8000 buses in time for the Olympic Games, with the Tube, DLR, Tram and London Overground network following by the end of 2012.

However, Shashi Verma, director, customer experience, TfL has now told Guardian Government Computing that the technology will only be tested on a small number of buses ahead of the Olympics, with the rest coming on board by the end of the year.

Implementation on the tube, London Overground, Docklands Light Railway, tram and National Rail service will not even begin until 2013 at the earliest, says Verma, adding: "We will only roll it out once we are confident it is 100% robust."

In November the bank card plans were branded "unconvincing" by the London Assembly in a report raising questions about the fairness, security and cost-saving potential of a new system.

Transport for London's contactless tickets roll out behind schedule - Guardian Professional

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