Transport for London is consulting on whether to remove paying by cash completely from its buses, meaning that every passenger would require an Oyster card or contactless card.
TfL says that approximately only one percent of customers still pay in cash, with most passengers using the Oyster Card, which was introduced in 2003 or contactless card payments which are linked directly to their bank account. In 2000, 25% of people were paying by cash to board buses.
£24million could be saved each year by scrapping cash on London’s buses, according to TfL. If the plans were to go ahead, cash would be discontinued by 2014 next year.
By removing the option to pay by cash many people will actually save money, as cash fares are more expensive in a bid to get more people to own an Oyster Card.
TfL is also looking into a new measure to let people make one more bus journey if they have insufficient fund on their Oyster card – a common reason people usually resort to using cash to pay for a ticket. It would simply take the funds from the Oyster card and leave the passenger with a negative balance until they topped up their card again.
Leon Daniels, managing director for TfL surface transport said: “With so few customers paying cash it makes sense for us to consider removing cash. The savings made can then be invested into making further vital improvements to the capital’s transport network.”
A consultation period is running from now until October 11th and you can have your say on the TfL’s website here: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/cashless