TfL denies double-charging bus passengers for contactless fares

oyster_busTransport for London has rejected suggestions that some bus passengers have been double-charged for fares since it began accepting payment by contactless debit/credit cards.

Passengers who use a contactless card pay the same fare as Oyster Pay As You Go users, meaning passengers who find their Oyster card has insufficient credit can complete their journey without paying the much higher cash fare.

Since the introduction last month, MayorWatch has received complaints from a several bus passengers who have incurred unexpected charges on debit and credit cards who believe they also paid via their Oyster Pay As You Go or season ticket.

London Assembly Members have also received complaints from passengers who’ve seen unexpected charges on debit and credit cards.

TfL has previously warned passengers that the Oyster ticket reader will deduct the fare from the first card it is able to read and has advised storing Oyster and debit/credit cards separately and taking care over which card they tap on the reader.

In a statement provided to MayorWatch, Shashi Verma, Director of Customer Experience at TfL, reassured passengers that there is “no possibility of both cards being charged”.

Explaining the safeguards built into the system, Mr Verma says: “When a contactless payment card and an Oyster card are presented simultaneously to an Oyster reader, bundled together in a wallet or purse for instance, the reader will reject the tap and no payment will be taken from either card. 

“However, if a customer presents a wallet with two or more cards and there is a significant time gap before the second card is detected, this can result in the first card being charged which may not be the card the customer wanted to pay with.  This has happened in a small number of instances and we have given these customers a full refund. However we have had no instances of two cards being charged simultaneously for the same fare.”

TfL is asking passengers with concerns over their fares to contact the Customer Services team on 0845 330 9876 or by email at