By Daniel Hunter
The London Assembly today welcomed the introduction of 'wave and pay' cards on London's transport network, but warned that Transport for London (TfL) must ensure that the new technology does not disadvantage any passengers.
In 2011, the London Assembly's Transport Committee published The Future of Ticketing, which set out how 'Wave and Pay' could be made fair to all passengers and not disadvantage those who continue to pay via Oyster cards. The London Assembly heard confirmation from Transport for London (TfL) that it will review and act on its recommendations as the new technology is rolled out.
"New technologies are welcomed on London's transport system if they make travel easier and guarantee all Londoners can access the cheapest fares no matter what type of ticket they use. We are glad that TfL plans to review our recommendations for ‘Wave and Pay’ as it starts being used on buses in London," Caroline Pidgeon AM, Chair of the Transport Committee, said.
"Only time will tell if this ticketless technology will bring the convenience promised. As Wave and Pay is rolled out across services in London, the Assembly will be keeping a close eye on its impact to provide the best deal. We need to be assured by TfL that passengers will still be able to receive the cheapest fares on Oyster going forward."
'Wave and Pay' was conceived as a way to give passengers ease of travel by allowing them to use a contactless bank card to pay for travel. The technology will start to be rolled out on bus services today. It had originally been planned to start on buses in March 2012.
Recommendations from the London Assembly’s Transport Committee included ensuring Oyster card passengers are not made to pay more than those using ‘Wave and Pay’, good customer support is put in place and there are tight security controls over payment information. The report also highlighted that people on lower incomes must not be disadvantaged by unfair 'Wave and Pay' fares. An estimated 1 in 5 Londoners do not have access to a bank card.
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