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Cash free buses in London

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Jun 3rd, 2014, 03:57 AM
  #1
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Cash free buses in London

I just got an email from TFL saying that from 6th July, one will no longer be able to pay bus fares by cash
http://www.tfl.gov.uk/campaign/ways-to-pa
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Jun 3rd, 2014, 04:52 AM
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Miss Prism, that page was not available when I tried...
latedaytraveler is offline  
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Jun 3rd, 2014, 05:11 AM
  #3
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Whoops, try http://www.tfl.gov.uk/campaign/ways-to-pay
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Jun 3rd, 2014, 10:34 AM
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I got it too. I'm quite surprised at this tbh, it seems a bit premature when many many people don't yet have contactless payments cards (over half the UK population in fact).
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Jun 3rd, 2014, 12:30 PM
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I think I've been in other cities where they've done that also. For buses, they really don't like fooling with cash sometimes. However, what does surprise me (and I haven't been to London in about 5 years) is that it sounds like there isn't such a thing as just buying single tickets, that you have to buy some long-term card. I don't know any city where that is the case, you can usually buy single tickets that can be used interchangeably on the bus or tram/metro in many cities, and you can buy them at the metro(tube) or some other places.

In fact, I live in Washington DC and they are doing away with magnetic paper tickets here on the metro. They are transitioning away from that and want everyone to use the reloadable plastic cards. They are making them cheaper to encourage it (they used to be $5 but I think are now $2). I understand that, but in one sense, it doesn't seem very ecological to require everyone to use a plastic card, not paper, if they are only here for one day, for example. Sometimes people who do these things for ease of technology don't really consider what is going to happen to all those plastic cards, or don't care. The DC cards are plastic and have chips in them, like a credit card.
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Jun 3rd, 2014, 12:58 PM
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They made the buses in my small town "cashfree" a few years ago. They said it was to stop people from attacking the drivers to get the money. Ok. I can understand that motive, even if I suspect it's not the only reason.

One problem is that it's still not "common knowledge" for people who rarely use the bus. Another problem is that the alternative payment methods don't work for everyone. A third problem is that there are so few shops that sell single tickets OR bus passes.

You can pay with most debit/credit cards, but you're unlikely to have one if you are under sixteen. You can pay with an SMS ticket, but only if you have a registered Swedish mobile phone and I know lots of old people who don't (my mother has one, but she doesn't know how to send an SMS).

I work in a small shop/cafeteria. Right next to us, in the same building, is a place that sells bus tickets, but they close at four p.m. on weekdays and are closed all weekend. People come to us on the weekend, because they have been told they can buy a ticket "here". Well, the ticket shop is five meters away, but it's closed. Have fun walking into town (took me close to two hours last time my bike had a flat tire). And no, we can't get a permit to sell tickets. Not sure why, but I suspect it's because there is already a ticket seller in the same building.
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Jun 3rd, 2014, 11:27 PM
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"many many people don't yet have contactless payments cards (over half the UK population in fact)"

Cobblers.

Practically no-one (resident or visitor) in London lacks one of:
- an Oyster card or Travelcard, or
- a TfL Freedom Pass, or
- an English concessionary bus pass, or
- a commercial contactless payment card, issued by a bank or credit card provider.

As far as bus travel is concerned, the cards and passes issued by public-sector organisations are far, far more significant than the commercial products to which RM's meaningless statistic refers.

The withdrawal of ALL cash facilities on London's buses (including virtually all the prepay machines next to bus stops) certainly is at first sight a (minor) irritation for arriving visitors, who now really have to acquire an Oystercard or Travelcard.

But, once a card's acquired, they'll benefit from the reduced queues as much as anyone else.

"what does surprise me (and I haven't been to London in about 5 years) is that it sounds like there isn't such a thing as just buying single tickets,"

Of course there is.
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Jun 4th, 2014, 12:56 AM
  #8
 
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I have to agree with Flanner on this.

And there is nothing more annoying then sitting on a bus while someone fumbles around counting change and holding up the whole bus for several minutes to pay. I am all for this change!

There have been announcements for months in and around London, so anyone that regularly uses transit will already be aware this is coming. For tourists, they will have to get a pass or buy single tickets from the myriad of places that sell them in central London.
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Jun 4th, 2014, 06:28 AM
  #9
 
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I didn't say it shouldn't be introduced - I said I thought it was premature given not that many people have contactless payment cards. And they don't. The figures show that less than half the population do.

Its actually a royal pain in the arse paying for public transport at times - car parks at stations and tube stations charge a fortune per day - machines want more change than you can physically carry, but using the phone or text payment services doesn't always work (I am a regular user of these and have been overcharged and had to claim back overcharges or get fees quoshed multiple times now). At unmanned stations oyster card readers don't always work properly, and loaders don't always give change or even load the correct amount. Again I am a regular user of these. So while cashless is definitely the way forward the infrastructure needs to work properly and reliably before it becomes mandatory.
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