London’s bus network accepts contactless payment cards. This means you are able to use your contactless card to pay for single fare journeys.
If you are already familiar with using your contactless payment card to pay for travel on buses, you should note that TFL have enhanced their system with new and changed features.
The cost of the journey will be no different from the current pay as you go Oyster fare. Full details can be found at the following Transport for London website;
If you have any queries concerning how much you have paid for your journey or your journey experience you should contact TfL in the first instance on 0843 222 1234 or visit
Q. How does contactless work on the bus?
A. All of London buses now have contactless payment terminals. You should take the contactless card you wish to use to pay for your journey out of your wallet and touch it against the payment terminal on the bus until you see a green light and hear a single beep, this shows that the card has been validated (read successfully) for travel and is your authorisation for the fare to be deducted from your card account. If you see a red light and hear two beeps, the card has not been validated and you should try again. If this second attempt is unsuccessful, you should use an alternative way to pay for your journey. You can contact us to discuss why the card has not been validated.
Q. How are the fares charged?
A. When you use your contactless payment card to travel you will be charged an adult-rate pay as you go fare each time you make a journey. You can also benefit from daily and Monday to Sunday capping.
TFL calculate the best fare for each day or week (which is a Monday-Sunday time period), depending on where and when you have travelled, by:
- Adding up the cost of all the journeys you make each day and applying a daily cap if appropriate
- Adding up the cost of all the journeys you make in each week and applying a Monday to Sunday cap if appropriate. For capping, a week always ends on a Sunday, although a cap will be applied earlier if you reach one
You can see your detailed journey history if you
sign up for a TfL online account
Q. What if I have more than one contactless/Oyster Card in my wallet?
A. It is important that you only touch the card you wish to use to pay for your journey against the reader. If more than one card is presented (for example because you hold a wallet with more than one contactless card in it against the reader), the reader should show 'Multiple Cards' and the transaction should be declined.
Q. How much will I be charged?
The cost for using your contactless card is the same as using a pay as you go Oyster card. Fares are published at www.tfl.gov.uk and you should check the price of your journey before you travel.
For example, on 27 August 2014, you will be charged the following when using your contactless payment card on buses:
Monday to Sunday cap:
Q. Will the fares be subject to the daily and weekly 'capping' system applied to Oyster cards?
Q. Can I add a season ticket or use my discount on my contactless card?
A. Discounted travel
Discount entitlements can't be added to a contactless payment card, so if you are eligible for free or discounted travel, you should continue using your existing Oyster card or Oyster photocard.
B. Travelcards and Bus & Tram Passes
You can't add Travelcards or Bus & Tram Passes to a contactless payment card. If you want to continue using these tickets, you should continue using your existing Oyster card or Oyster photocard.
Q. Q. Can one card be used to pay for more than one person travelling on the same journey?
A. Unfortunately not. You can only pay for one person per journey per contactless card and you will be charged an adult single fare.
Q. Will I be able to see details of the journeys that I have paid for using my contactless card?
A. You can now sign up for a TfL online account and register your contactless payment card. With an online account you can see your detailed journey and payment history dating back to 4th August 2013 or up to 12 months ago, whichever is later. On your bank statement you will be able to identify the transaction it by the words 'TFL BUS/TFL.gov.uk/cp' on your statement, as well as the contactless ')))' symbol.
Q. What if the bus I am travelling on breaks down and I have to get off?
A. You should have received a 'Bus Transfer Slip' from the driver of the first bus, which should have allowed you to board a subsequent bus. If this did not occur and you had to pay a second time to reach your original destination, you will need to contact TfL to request a refund for this journey on 0843 222 1234 or visit
Q. Why will the Revenue (Ticket) Inspector ask to see my contactless card?
A. You now need to touch your contactless payment card on an inspector's portable card reader when asked to do so. This will check your card is valid for travel and has been used for the journey that you are making.
Q. I tapped my wallet on the reader, wishing to pay using my Season Pass, but the fare has been deducted from my contactless card account, meaning I have paid for my journey twice.
Q. I thought I had validated my contactless card correctly but the Revenue Inspector has said that the card was not validated. I have been charged a Penalty Fare and wish to dispute it.
A. TfL Revenue Inspectors will check that you have validated your card for travel. If you have not, TfL will charge a Penalty Fare. It is your responsibility to ensure that your card is correctly validated. (You can do this by making sure that you see a green light and hear a beep when you present your card to the reader. If you are travelling on a bus, you can also ask the bus driver if you have any queries or a member of station staff) TfL has an appeals process for Penalty Fare notices and if you wish to appeal, you should contact TfL on 0843 222 1234.
An alternative way to pay
Contactless payment cards provide an alternative to Oyster, particularly if:
- You don't have enough pay as you go credit on your Oyster card and you have no time to top it up before boarding a bus
- You've forgotten your Oyster card
You can now benefit from daily and Monday to Sunday capping.
Although contactless payment cards are similar to Oyster, there are some important differences:
- You can benefit from Monday to Sunday capping whereas Oyster is weekly capping .
- You can only travel at adult rate; you cannot add a discount to a contactless payment card
- You can't add Travelcard or Bus & Tram Pass season tickets to a contactless payment card
- Contactless payment cards are not accepted on routes 402 and 477 or on the heritage buses which run some journeys on parts of route15
- There is no transfer discount between Bus Feeder routes T31, T32, T33, 130 and 314 and trams