Tuesday, 18 November 2014


Twelve million “contactless” journeys have been made on bus and Tube since paying by bank card was extended to the Underground two months ago. 


  Eight per cent of all pay as you go journeys on public transport are made by tapping in and out with a bank or credit cards. Tube and rail accounts for 5.5m contactless journeys, with hotspots for useage at Oxford Circus, King’s Cross and London Bridge. 



About three per cent of all London Underground journeys are contactless, or three people in every full Tube carriage on contactless rather than Oyster which the mayor says it is designed to replace in the long-term. Contactless was introduced on buses in December 2002 and on this mode of travel it has been used for 6.5m journeys. “Card clash” - when the unintended card is debited when swiped at the barrier - has struck on average 1,564 times a day. Contactless has been heavily promoted to Tube users by Transport for London and credit card companies since its introduction on 12 September. 

TfL director of customer experience Shashi Verma said : “It is fantastic to see over 12 million contactless journeys across London within just two months. Using contactless payments to travel can save customers time and money; they don’t need to stop to top-up an Oyster card, or buy a ticket and can benefit from daily and Monday to Sunday capping.” Contactless is being promoted to passengers as a convenient alternative to Oyster as there is no need to top-up with credit. But transport chiefs have been accused of prioritising contactless passengers with a weekly cap on fares which is not available on Oyster.  

TfL said does not yet have sufficient data to work out who is using contactless payment, that is the proportion of people using contactless who are new customers, and what proportion are instead people switching from other forms of payment. They suggested that when there was a quarter-year of data they would be able to do some analysis, expected next month. International visitors to London might encounter problems with their contactless bank and credit cards and the advice to them is to pick an Oyster card.