Londoners will have to make sure their Oyster cards are always in credit after Transport for London confirmed that the capital’s buses will be cashless from this summer.
The organisation predicts that the number of cash fares on buses will fall to less than 1 per cent this year – a drop from 20 per cent a decade ago - due to the widespread use of concessionary tickets, Oyster and contactless payment cards (CPC).
The move follows a consultation that ran last summer, to which 37,000 Londoners responded.
A third agreed that cash fares should be removed, with three quarters indicating that they do not pay for the bus using cash.
To combat criticism that a cashless system would affect vulnerable people and users in outer London where there are less Oyster top-up machines, TfL will introduce a ‘one more journey’ system.
This will allow passengers to use the bus if they have a positive balance on their card, but not enough for a single journey.
TfL has also pledged to review the Oyster Ticket Stop network to see if additional locations can be identified, particularly in outer London, as well as training its 24,000 bus drivers to ensure vulnerable passengers are dealt with in a consistent manner.
A public information campaign will alert the public of the changes, which TfL say is the cheapest option and will reduce delays by speeding up boarding.
According to TfL, cash payers will benefit from the £1 discount on fair for Oyster card and CPC users, while saving the organisation £24 million by 2020.
An exact date for the change has not yet been announced.