Assembly raises concerns over new contactless fares system

AMs had raised concerns over plans to introduce contactless payments on London's transport network

The London Assembly has called for assurances that Oyster card users will not be disadvantaged when contactless payments are introduced across London’s transport network.

Earlier this year Transport for London said it was working with major card issuers to enable passengers to pay for journeys with wireless credit and debit cards.

The system is planned to be introduced to buses from March next year before being rolled out across all TfL operated services.

A new report by the London Assembly Transport Committee has raised concerns that the estimated one in five Londoners who do not have a credit or debit card would miss out on lower fares.

The Committee has also expressed concern that fears of fraud and financial loss will put passengers off of using the new technology

Assembly Members have called for TfL to report back on fraud levels associated with the new payment cards and to monitor complaints related to contactless payments.

Today’s report says Assembly Members “are not reassured” that information provided by TfL “demonstrates good value for money or that other options for achieving the same objectives have been thoroughly considered.”

AMs say TfL “has produced no evidence to support” claims that that the new system will generate savings of up to £20m per year.

Committee Chair Caroline Pidgeon said: “It’s only right that Transport for London is looking to new technologies to enhance its ticketing offer, but many passengers are sceptical about using bank cards as tickets, and others simply won’t be able to.
 
“If contactless payment is to prove successful we would expect to see a far more detailed and compelling case for its introduction.  Most importantly, we want guarantees that all passengers will continue to have access to the cheapest fares no matter what type of ticket they use.”