London buses could go cashless in 2013

London buses could go cashless in 2013

Cash could be outlawed on London's buses by the end of the year, according to a Transport for London document obtained by the BBC.

With the Oyster card now dominant on London's transport network, just 1.5% of bus fares - 24 million journeys a year - are paid for with cash.

This figure is expected to fall further thanks to the introduction earlier this year of an option for commuters to pay using contactless bank cards.

TfL now wants to ditch expensive cash completely by the end of the year, writing in a confidential Mayoral briefing paper seen by the BBC: "It is also proposed that the sale of cash tickets on bus be stopped at a suitable time in 2013."

Managing director for surface transport at TfL Leon Daniels told the BBC that "we've made no decision on this whatsoever" but added that "we are watching the market" and "there will come a point when it won't be worth collecting cash anymore".

Any decision on ditching notes and coins will ultimately be made by London's Mayor, Boris Johnson.

Comments: (1)

Keith Appleyard
Keith Appleyard - available for hire - Bromley 15 April, 2013, 14:00Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

The trouble is that if you don't have a back-up, what happens when the system goes down?

If they get rid of Cash (and get rid of Oyster as they threaten), then you have single point of failure.

It was only 5 weeks ago that RBS & Natwest went down around 9pm for a few hours. If you were reliant on using their Card, and didn't carry a Card from another Issuer (it so happens I don't), then would you be told to get off and walk?

Not so long ago I was on a Bus with a broken Oyster Reader - the driver was just waiving everyone on. I asked if he was due to return to depot to get it fixed, and he said he'd been driving the bus for 2 days giving everyone free rides.