Transport for London (TfL) is proposing to go cashless on its bus services in 2014. If, after consultation, the proposal is approved the option to pay by cash will be removed on all TfL bus services.
TfL’s proposal is based on the fact that cash use in London is very low, at around 1% of all journeys (or 60,000 journeys per day). They also claim that savings of £24m per year will be made if the scheme is adopted. TfL also point out that passengers can also pay by contactless payment if their Oyster card is lost or does not have enough credit (Contactless payment is a growing addition to more and more debit, credit and smartcards and allows you to pay merely by pointing your card at a reader). TfL is also investigating the possibility of allowing passengers with insufficient balance on their Oyster card to make one additional trip. This facility will also include the production of a slip to inform the passenger that they need to top up their Oyster card.
To the question of what happens if a passenger’s purse or wallet (containing all their cards and Oystercard is lost or stolen) TfL reply that bus drivers have the discretion to offer passengers a “pay later” ticket, which allows free one-off travel in exchange for a promise to pay the fare ASAP.
The Society’s response to this proposal is that we would like to see a great deal more work done on ensuring that passengers know that they can access a bus late at night if their cards have been stolen or lost.
What do you think? Online survey here https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/buses/cashless Survey ends 11 October 2013