Contactless payment on Tube delayed until late 2013

By Peter Gothard
25 May 2012 View Comments
A London Underground sign by TfL

Contactless payments on the London transport network are to be delayed by a year, meaning the service won't be fully active on the Tube until the end of 2013.

The "Wave and Pay" system, which enables travellers to pay for Tube or bus services simply by automatically debiting a bank card rather than relying on Oyster, was meant to be substantially integrated into London transport by the end of 2012, according to a Transport for London (TfL) statement in February.

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This was to include all 8,000 London buses in time for the Olympics, with the Tube network following up later in the year.

But TfL director of customer experience Shashi Verma yesterday told the London Evening Standard that only a "small number" of buses would operate the service by the Olympics, with other buses following "throughout the year".

Verma also stated that it would be "even harder" fitting Wave and Pay into Tube trains, saying "there is a huge amount of development to be done."

The admitted delays confirm what was already hinted at in Boris Johnson's 2012 "Investing In Transport" May election manifesto, which stated, "I will start [contactless payment's] introduction on the bus network in June this year as a means of paying cash fares. I will launch contactless payment with Pay As You Go and weekly capping on the Tube and other rail services towards the end of 2013."

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