The Anonymous Widower

London Shows Contactless Cards Work On Buses

This article on Finextra, shows that what the Dismal Jimmies predicted when you could use your contactless cards for bus travel didn’t happen. Here’s the two paragraphs.

Transport for London is celebrating a successful one-year anniversary of the use of contactless payments cards on the capital’s buses, as it prepares to extend the technology to the entire transit network in 2014.

Since it was launched on Thursday 13 December 2012 when 2,061 customers made 2,586 journeys, more than 6.5 million journeys have now been made using an American Express, MasterCard or Visa Europe contactless payment card.

So now we have another good thing, that the banks have done for us in addition to the cash machine.

I hope, I’m young enough to be able to use my contactkess bank card on public transport all over the world. It would certainly have helped in Bilbao and a lot of other places I’ve visited this year.

December 18, 2013 - Posted by | Finance, Transport/Travel | , , ,


  1. Am I not right in pointing out however that paying this way doesn’t count towards your “Daily maximum cap” and so you can end up paying more than using an Oyster Card if you are travelling around all day or even going to/from work?

    Comment by Mike Jay | December 18, 2013 | Reply

    • The full details are here.

      It would apply no daily price cap is applied, but that at £1,40 a journey it’s cheaper than cash.

      I suspect that as the system gets enlarged these rules will change.

      Incidentally, I always carry an Oyster card as well as my Freedom Pass in a different wallet, so that if I lose my Freedom Pass I can get home. When the system is fully developed, I suspect, I’ll change my strategy.

      Thinking about it further, the obvious aim is to replace Oyster with bank cards, as bank cards won’t need to be topped up and we’ve all had the problem of getting on a bus behind someone, who’s used up all their Oyster money.

      But certain conditions must be met.

      1. The system must have been proven to be thoroughly reliable.

      2. Charges must be no more than if using Oyster, so this would mean a daily cap. If there isn’t one, then why would you switch from Oyster except in an emergency.

      3. You must be able to run down your Oyster to nothing. Many have several Oysters and a proper changeover would allow a passenger to get rid of all the stored value on journeys.

      4. Freedom Passes would have to work as now, but I can see the time, when those eligible for a Freedom Pass could register a contactless card as their pass. But this would probably be phased in with time, as there are a lot of pensioners, for whom the existing system will probably be better.

      Get it right and the system will be a lot better.

      Especially, if you can go anywhere in the country or even world wide and use your contactless card on other transport systems.

      That will happen and it will make travel easier and probably create lots of tourist related jobs.

      Comment by AnonW | December 18, 2013 | Reply

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