London goes contactless for public transport

Typical. The bad stuff starts here: when the UK government reckoned it could make some cash by opening up buses to competition, naturally London was the last to be affected. Let the sticks work out the problems.

And today it’s the reverse with the capital getting all the capital needed to fund making contactless payments. It will come to the rest of the nation, it will. It just cannot come soon enough.

For there are two things here. One is the word contactless. Every time I’ve seen someone try to pay for anything through this, they end up banging their cards on the readers.

The other thing is that London has already had Oyster cards and I thought they were pretty great. I loathe little bits of paper so tickets are aggravating and the ability to just slap a card against a reader and get on the Tube was great.

But if you want to know aggravating, try loading up your Oyster card online. It takes two days. You have to know two days in advance that you’re going to need it. Invariably, you resort to topping it up at the Tube station and that’s fine except you get a little message on screen saying “Next time why not top up online?”

“Because it’s too slow,” people shout.

Now that’s all going away in favour of automatic payments via contactless cards:

…You can now use contactless payment cards to travel on the Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground and most National Rail services in London, as well as on buses. Contactless payment cards have the symbol shown in the image of this email; your bank may have already issued you with one of these.

When using Contactless payment cards you will be charged an adult-rate pay as you go fare, the same as Oyster. There is no need to top-up. Please always touch in and out as you would with an Oyster card.

Contactless payment update – Transport for London email (18 September 2014)

Cool. Cool cool cool. Now let’s have it everywhere.

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