More than 31m journeys have been made using NFC mobile phones across Transport for London’s (TfL) network in the last 12 months, the transport operator has revealed. 40% of all pay as you go journeys across the network are now being made using contactless — up from 25% in early 2016 — with almost one in ten of these being made using a mobile device.
In all, more than one billion pay as you go journeys have been made using contactless payment cards across TfL’s network, the company adds, with an average of two million contactless journeys now being made every day.
“Since it launched last September, more than 25m ‘Hopper’ journeys — which allow customers to have a second bus or tram journey for free if made within one hour — have been specifically made using contactless,” TfL says.
“Customers from more than 100 countries have now used contactless payment cards and mobile devices to make journeys on the capital’s public transport network, with more than 20 new countries including Estonia, Morocco and Peru having been seen for the first time in the last year.”
Best value fares
TFL’s contactless payment system was first launched on London’s buses in December 2012 and expanded to cover Tube and rail services in the city in September 2014.
The system automatically calculates the best value fare based on the customer’s specific journey history and then charges them at the end of the day, ensuring they “always pay the lowest fare in the easiest and most convenient way,” TFL says.
The company announced its plans to begin licensing its contactless ticketing system to other major cities across the globe as part of a deal worth up to £15m (US$19.4m) with Cubic Corporation’s business unit Cubic Transportation Systems (CTS) in July last year.
“In the future, contactless will also be expanded to cover the Elizabeth line, which will see services running from Reading and Heathrow in the west to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east by December 2019.”
“Contactless payments have completely transformed the way people pay for travel in London and it’s great to see more than 1bn journeys now made across the capital’s transport network,” says Shashi Verma, chief technology officer at TfL. “We’re committed to continue developing and expanding the system where we can to make it even more convenient for anyone visiting London.”
“A main reason contactless payments have taken off is the seamless payment experience it creates for consumers,” adds Visa’s Kevin Akerman. “The fact that people travelling around London, one of the busiest cities in the world, can tap their card and, in less than a second, pay to use any form of transport they wish — avoiding queues and without the need for paper tickets — is certainly frictionless.”
“The dramatic increase in the use of contactless over the last year shows the real progress we’ve made making journeys easier and more convenient for busy Londoners and also visitors to our city,” says Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.