Bus fares reintroduced in London from Saturday
Charging for bus travel in London will resume on Saturday, Transport for London (TfL) has announced.
The requirement to touch in a contactless, Oyster or concessionary card when boarding will initially be required on 85 routes served by single-door and New Routemaster buses.
It will be rolled out across all buses “once further safety measures have been introduced to protect bus drivers”.
Twenty-nine London bus drivers have died after being infected with coronavirus, according to TfL.
Passengers have not needed to present their payment card since April 20 in a bid to boost the safety of drivers.
But the Government is requiring TfL to resume the collection of bus fares as part of the £1.6 billion bailout agreed last week.
TfL said that on buses where payments will be required from Saturday, drivers’ protective screens have had the opening where cash was previously accepted sealed off, in addition to vinyl screens fitted last month to block communication holes.
Bus services were ramped up to 85% of normal frequencies this week and TfL is working towards reinstating 100% of its timetables “as soon as possible”.
Passengers are being asked to avoid non-essential use of public transport despite lockdown restrictions being eased to enable social distancing.
TfL’s director of bus operations Claire Mann said: “This is a phased return to reinstating payments, so please follow the instructions and signage on the bus.
“And whatever buses you use, please wear a face covering. This allows bus drivers, and those who need to use buses, to continue to do so safely.”
TfL has introduced a “rigorous cleaning regime” across all its services, including buses and Tube trains.
This includes anti-viral fluid being sprayed inside areas used by passengers, and hand sanitiser dispensers being installed at bus stations and on Tube station platforms.