Today has seen good news on the use of contactless payment cards on buses, but confirmation of extremely bad news for the use on trains.
From today (actually it might have been yesterday) capping is fully operational when using CPCs on buses. Rather than charging each bus journey individually, TfL will now add together all journeys and charge in one go at the end of the day. Thus the £4.40 daily cap can be applied, and if you go over £20.20 in any Monday to Sunday period you will also be capped at the weekly bus pass rate. That is even better than Oyster where you have to buy the weekly pass in advance.
But now the bad news. The press release about bus payments also reiterated the launch of CPCs on rail services from September 16th. However, it is becoming very clear that agreement hasn’t yet been reached with the NR TOCs. This means that it will only be available on Underground, DLR and Overground. Considering that TfL are marketing the payment method as an alternative to Oyster, this is bound to cause much confusion.
Will users get penalty fares if they stray onto a Southeastern train after getting off the Overground at New Cross? If the experience of the OEP is anything to go by then I’d say the answer is highly likely to be yes.