London bus fares 2017

Bus fares in London: How much is a single fare?  How much does a travelcard cost?

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How much is a London bus fare?

Adult bus fares
Cash not possible
Oyster £1.50 single fare
£4.50 daily cap
Hopper fares apply
Contactless £1.50 single fare
£4.50 daily cap
£21.20 weekly cap
Hopper fares apply
1-day bus/tram pass £5
Weekly bus/tram pass £21.20
Monthly bus/tram pass £81.50
Annual bus/tram pass £848
Return fares
There are no return fares on London’s buses – you just pay the same price as two single bus fares. However, bus Hopper fares may apply if you return within sixty minutes
Senior bus fares
Tourists are not entitled to cheap senior fares, but local Londoners can apply for a Freedom Pass or a 60+ London Oyster photocard
Child bus fares
See here for the child bus prices

Hopper Fares – two bus journeys for the price of one

One of the big advantages of paying for London bus journeys with PAYG Oyster or a contactless card is the Hopper fare. This entitles you to get a second bus journey for free if you make it within sixty minutes of the first one.

The time span is measured by when you touch in – not when you disembark. So if you board the first bus at 10 AM, and disembark at 10.30 AM, then you need to board the second one by 10.59 AM to get it for free (not 11.29 AM).

Note: You must touch in with the same card for both bus journeys. And it only applies to adults. Children cannot benefit from Hopper fares. And you can’t sneak a train journey in-between the two buses either – you must board two buses in a row.

Daily price cap on the bus

We always recommend using a pay-as-you-go Oyster card or a contactless payment card instead over a 1-day bus pass, because you benefit from something called a daily cap. This is the maximum amount of money that will be taken from your card each day. It doesn’t matter how many buses you use in London during that 24 hour period, the total amount of money taken from your card will never rise above the daily cap. And this price cap is always lower than the cost of a 1-day bus travelcard – saving you money.

Bear in mind that you have to stick with the buses all day. If you use a mixture of buses and trains (or just the trains on their own) then you’ll end up paying the train daily cap instead, which is more expensive (see our train fares page).

Weekly price cap on the bus

If you want to benefit from the weekly price cap then you’ll have to use a contactless card. Oyster cards do not currently offer a weekly cap.

The weekly price caps only applies from Monday to Sunday. It does not apply to any other stretch of seven days (like Tuesday to Monday, for example). So if your weekly spend hasn’t hit the weekly cap by the end of Sunday night then they’ll start counting from the beginning again on Monday morning.

Free bus travel for seniors, with a Freedom pass

Freedom Pass on a London busIf your principal home is in London, and you’re old enough to receive a woman’s state pension (regardless of whether you are a man or a woman), or you have an eligible disability, then it’s worth getting hold of a Freedom Pass.

Freedom Passes are supplied by your local council, and you will need to fill in an application form and provide a passport-sized photo to get one. Check out their website for more details:

A Freedom Pass entitles you to free travel on TFL buses, plus many local bus services beyond the TFL network. You can also travel on the trams, London Underground, London Overground, Docklands Light Railway (DLR), TFL Rail, and some National Rail trains within London (usually after 9.30 AM on weekdays, or any time during the weekend).

60+ London Oyster photocard

60+ London Oyster photocard for Londons busesA 60+ London Oyster photocard allows you to travel for free on London’s buses, tube trains, trams, DLR, London Overground, TFL Rail and some National Rail trains (usually after 9.30 AM on weekdays, and any time at the weekend) – but only until you qualify for a Freedom Pass.

In order to get one you must live in a London borough and be aged 60 or over. You can apply for a 60+ Oyster photocard online at

Where to buy bus tickets

Buy an Oyster Card online:
Buy an Oyster Card  (TFL website)
Buy a Visitor Oyster Card  (TFL website)London Oyster CardBuy a travelcard online: Buy a 1-day Travelcard  (TFL website)London bus travelcard
Buy a weekly Travelcard  (TFL website)

London Pass and Oyster card

Buy a London Pass online:
Buy a London Pass + Oyster card

London Pass and Oyster cardBefore you spend money on an Oyster card, you might want to look at a London Pass.

The London Pass gives you free or discounted entry into lots of popular London attractions, and you can also buy them with an Oyster card included – saving you the hassle of having to buy an Oyster pass separately.

Paying by cash on London’s buses

If you’re wondering whether you can pay cash on London buses, then the answer is no. It is not possible to pay by cash anymore, so don’t go up to the driver with a handful of coins because he will just stare at you blankly. And yes, we do know that sounds totally daft – but it’s true!

The only way of pay for bus travel now is with an Oyster card, a weekly bus pass, monthly bus pass or contactless bank card – all of which have to be obtained before you board the bus.

Do buses have zones?

No. The buses are not like the trains – they do not have zones. So the price of bus fares in London is the same wherever you go.

Can I use a train travelcard on a London bus?

London bus travelcardsYes. There are actually two kinds of travelcards available. One just covers bus and tram journeys, and the other one includes the trains as well. Most visitors will buy this second one. But train travelcards work slightly differently to the bus ones, because you also have to select which zone you want when you buy it. But seeing as buses don’t have zones, how does it work?

Well… it’s easy. Because you can basically ride whichever bus you like, regardless of which train zone you’ve bought.

For example: a zone 1-2 travelcard will only allow you to make train journeys in zones 1 and 2, but you can ride the buses all the way out to zone 6 if you want – buses don’t have zones, so it doesn’t matter which zone you’ve bought. When it comes to the buses they all work the same.

How many stops can you go?

There’s a flat-fare on London’s buses, so it doesn’t matter how far you go. Bus journeys are always the same price, whether you travel ten yards or ten miles.

Questions about adult bus fares?

> Ask questions about London bus fares

  • Admin – “The daily cap is the maximum you pay each day. But you're only doing two journeys, which is less. So you'll pay 2 x £1.50. No way of knowing what the traffic will be like on a random Tuesday. But I would expect it to take about 20 minutes”
  •  Guest – “When buying an annual bus pass for gbp848.00, do you also get a an annual gold card with it? Thank you”
  • Admin – “I don't believe you do, No. The discounts you get applied with a gold card are all for the tubes and trains, but an annual bus pass is only valid on the buses and trams. So they cover two different things. More info here. But you might want to double-check with TFL, just to be sure:”

London: A Visitor’s Guide

Have you seen our guidebook? We explain how to ride the buses, boats, taxis and trains, with all the fares and ticket options

2017 edition – Read a free sample, and more


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