Boris: No date for ‘wave and pay’ fares introduction

Debit and credit card users will be able to touch in on Oyster card readers

The introduction of contactless debit and credit card fares payments on the bus network has been delayed until Transport for London is confident the system “is 100 per cent robust”.

The ‘wave & pay’ system allows debit and credit card users with a contactless enabled card to pay for fares by touching in just like Oyster card users.

TfL had originally promised the scheme would be “up and running on all of London’s 8,000 buses in time for the 2012 Games and the system will be rolled out onto the Tube, DLR, tram and London Overground network before the end of that year.”

The timetable was later revised to “mid-2012” on the bus network and “2013” for the Tube, London Overground and DLR networks.

However there is now no deadline for the scheme to go live with TfL yet to carry out “real-life trialling” of the system.

News of the delay came after Liberal Democrat London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon asked Mayor Boris Johnson when the system would be operational.

In a written response the Mayor said “it will only be introduced…when there is confidence that it is 100 per cent robust”.

The Mayor added: “The upcoming early stages of real-life trialling will determine the detailed timescales for the rollout programme.”

Pidgeon has previously called on Johnson and TfL to use the delays as an “opportunity to ensure the new technology works properly from day one of its introduction.”

She has also urged that those “who decide to stick with Oyster ‘pay as you go’ don’t get penalised with higher fares” than passengers using debit and credit cards.