Transport for London (TfL) announced today that over 6.5 million journeys have been paid for using the contactless payment technology that was introduced across its bus network a year ago.
The figure represents less than one per cent of the 2.3 billion bus trips taken in the last 12 months and one website suggests that TfL was expecting 122 million journeys to be paid for using the new payment method over the time period.
However, TfL claims the roll out has been a "success" and suggests interest in the scheme is growing as it passes its first anniversary.
Elsewhere, the roll out of contactless fares across the wider TfL transport network has been significantly delayed due to technical challenges.
Despite the delays and missed targets, Shashi Verma, TfL’s director of customer experience, said: “It is fantastic that so many people are taking advantage of the ease and convenience of using their contactless payment cards to pay their bus fares.
“Each week we are setting a new record for usage which gives us great confidence for when we launch on the rest of the network and make contactless fully integrated next year.”
Travellers are able to their bus journeys by touching their American Express, MasterCard or Visa Europe contactless payment card against a reader on any of TfL's 8,500 buses.
TfL said that around 33,000 bus journeys in London are paid for using the new technology. The transport body also claimed that “around 1,300 new cards” are used each day.
A trial will start on London Underground early next year, allowing passengers to get Oyster rates through contactless payment cards. However, around 750 jobs will be lost as a result of ticket office closures.