First phase of reinstating fares across London’s bus network


Transport for London has announced the phased reintroduction of fare collection on London’s buses from tomorrow (May 23).

Passengers on 85 routes services by single-door and New Routemaster vehicles, plus the Route 507/521 ‘Red Arrow’ routes, will need to touch in with an Oyster or contactless payment card.

TfL says this is the first step to returning all of London’s buses to being able to accept payments once further safety measures have been introduced.

It adds the requirement to touch in will restore its ability to collect accurate data on the number of passengers using buses, allowing it to forecast demand and ensure passengers can practice social distancing.

Fare collection will be introduced on more routes over the coming weeks, with announcements and signage in place on bus doors to inform passengers of the requirement.

In order to facilitate the first phase, TfL has reinstated card readers located by the middle doors of New Routemasters. These had been phased out in the months before the outbreak of the virus as multi-door boarding was phased out on these vehicles.

On the buses where these changes apply, all protective screens have now had the openings where cash was previously accepted sealed off, in addition to the vinyl screen that was fitted a number of weeks ago to close communication holes.

TfL says it has ramped up bus services over the last week, operating 85% of normal services and is working to return to 100% of service as soon as possible.

It adds middle-door only boarding will operate until further notice.

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