Card payments will be installed in all black cabs by October, TfL confirms
Travelling around London will soon need to involve no physical cash at all after Transport for London (TfL) announced that all of the capital’s iconic black taxis will be required to accept card payments for their fares by October this year.
This will also include payment via contactless debit and credit cards, meaning that paying for a cab ride could soon be done in a matter of seconds.
The move was approved by the TfL board following a consultation in which an overwhelming 86 percent of respondents backing the proposal, and also committed to working with the card industry to link card payment devices directly to the taximeter in future.
“It’s great news that with a quick swipe of a card, millions of passengers will be able to pay for their journeys in London’s iconic black cabs,” said Mayor of London Boris Johnson. “It’s an essential part of modern life and it’ll make paying for your journey swifter and simpler than ever before.”
Around half of London’s taxis already accept payment via card, but today’s announcement means that all black cabs will need to be kitted out with readers.
TfL was keen to note that customers using cards will not pay any surcharge on their fare, and will only ever pay what is shown on the meter, no matter by what means they choose to pay.
“We believe the acceptance of card and contactless payments will be a huge plus for both taxi drivers and their passengers,” said Garrett Emmerson, TfL’s chief operating officer for surface transport.
“Card payments are part of everyday life in London, and people use them in every aspect of their lives. The TfL network is seeing more and more contactless payments so this would bring the taxi trade into line with other transport services in the Capital. It means that customers no longer have to check whether they have cash for a journey beforehand and will open up taxis to potential new customers.”
Contactless payment has already proved to be an incredibly popular way for travellers to pay for their journeys across TfL’s services.
Recent figures from Visa Europe found that contactless now represents 25 percent of all pay-as-you-go payment transactions made on the TfL network, helping to support calls for a nationwide expansion of contactless payment services across the UK’s travel network, following an announcement by the UK Cards Association earlier this week that it had now gained government backing for such a project.
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