London has ended cash payments for city buses, leaving the transit system's Oyster and other contactless cards as the methods to pay fares.
Payment options include a Visitor Oyster card with pay as you go credit; pay as you go contactless payment cards such as a Day Travelcard, Bus & Tram Pass, as well as any other UK issued cards, according to a July 7 press release.
Commuters can get a new Oyster card or add value to their existing Oyster card online and at Oyster Ticket participating stores. Oyster's Auto top-up feature ensures cardholders never run out of pay as credit is automatically added from the customer's credit or debit card if the balance falls below £10 (about $15). The transit system in February announced its intent to eliminate cash payments.
The payment card is automatically topped up when an Oyster card touches on a yellow card reader at the start of a journey on bus, Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground or National Rail services in London. In addition, if Oyster card holders do not have enough credit to pay the £1.45 ($2.48) fare, or their Bus & Tram Pass or Travelcard has just expired, they are granted one trip on a bus and are expected to add the value later.
Commuters are advised to "watch out for card clash," which happens when a yellow card reader detects two or more contactless payment smartcards at the same time leading to a red light. Another risk when getting on buses that accept contactless payment cards is that fare could be charged to an unintended card, which can be avoided keeping the cards separated.