After seeking public input about payment preferences, the Transport for London will no longer allow cash or coin payments on the city buses.
Commuters in central London will have to pay for their bus fares only with the city's Oyster transportation card or bank-issued debit or credit cards, the transportation company states.
More than a third of the 37,000 respondents to Transport's inquiry agreed with the proposal to withdraw cash fare payments. About 75% indicated they do not currently pay for bus fare with cash, Transport says in a Feb. 3 press release.
"Paying with Oyster or a contactless payment card is not only the cheapest option, but also speeds up boarding times at bus stops and reduces delays," Leon Daniels, managing director for Transport, states in the release.
Cash fares make up just 1% of bus journeys, down from around 25% a decade ago, Daniels says.
Since launching contactless card payments on the bus network in December 2012, more than eight million fares have been purchased using that technology, Transport says.
The London Underground and London Rail services are expected to introduce contactless payment technology later this year, Transport says. In other parts of the London area, commuters are already downloading tickets onto mobile devices.
Transport will introduce a new "one more journey" feature soon, in which a commuter can use an Oyster card even when the prepaid card cannot cover the full cost of the bus ride, but add funds to the card later to cover the cost, Daniels says.
"It costs £24 million a year to accept cash on London's buses and by removing this option we will generate significant savings which, like all of our income, will be reinvested in improvements to the transport network," Daniels adds.