Child & Student bus fares - London 2017

Child and student bus fares: How much is a single fare?  How much do travelcards cost?

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How much is a child bus fare in London?

Child bus fares – under-11
Child bus fares – 11-15, with a photocard
Child bus fares – 11-15, without a photocard, but with a ‘Young Visitor Discount’
50% off the adult Oyster fare, but only for a maximum of 14 days:
Oyster £0.75 single fare
£2.25 daily cap
Child bus fares – 16-17, with a photocard
Cash not possible
Oyster £0.75 single fare
£2.25 daily cap
1-day bus/tram pass not possible (but they can buy an adult one for £5)
Weekly bus/tram pass £10.60
Monthly bus/tram pass £40.80
Annual bus/tram pass £424
Child bus fares – 11-17, without a photocard
There are no child bus ticket prices for this – they just pay the same as a normal adult bus fare:
Cash not possible
Oyster £1.50 single fare
£4.50 daily cap
1-day bus/tram pass £5
Weekly bus/tram pass £21.20
Monthly bus/tram pass £81.50
Annual bus/tram pass £848
Student bus fares – 18+, with a photocard
30% off weekly, monthly and annual travelcards only – 1-day passes and single bus fares remain the same:
Cash not possible
Oyster £1.50 single fare
£4.50 daily cap
1-day bus/tram pass £5
Weekly bus/tram pass £14.80
Monthly bus/tram pass £56.90
Annual bus/tram pass £592
Adult bus fares
See here for the adult bus fares

Free bus travel for kids

Children under the age of 11 can travel for free on London’s buses if they’re accompanied by a fare-paying adult.

Children aged between 5-10 can travel unaccompanied if they wish, but then they will need to get hold of a 5-10 Zip Oyster photocard to qualify for free bus journeys.

Zip Oyster photocards

London Zip Oyster photocards for the busZip Oyster photocards can be ordered online from the TFL website. You need to apply at least four weeks in advance. They can either be posted to your home address or picked up from a London Travel Centre.

Bear in mind that they all cost money, which will probably wipe out any savings you’ll make on the child bus fares. You might find that you’re better off using the Young Visitor Discount instead.

5-10 Zip Oyster photocard: Unaccompanied children aged 5-10 will need a 5-10 Zip Oyster photocard to get free fares on the train. If they are accompanied by an adult then they do not need one. It works differently on the buses however, because they get free fares whether they are accompanied or not. So they don’t need a photocard on the bus. They cost £10 each.

11-15 Zip Oyster photocard: 11-15 year olds can travel for free provided they can show the driver an 11-15 Zip Oyster photocard. They cost £15. If they cannot show a photocard then they will have to pay a full adult fare.

16+ Zip Oyster photocard: 16-17 year olds pay a reduced fare if they can show a 16+ Zip Oyster photocard. These ones cost £20. If they cannot show a photocard, then they will have to pay a full adult fare.

18+ Student Oyster photocard: Students over the age of 18 can get 30% off weekly, monthly and annual travelcards (but not single fares) provided they can show an 18+ Student Oyster photocard. These ones cost £20. You must be living at a London address during term time, and be enrolled in a school, college or university that’s registered on the TFL scheme. You can order these ones from here.

Where to buy child 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 with 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 getting a London Pass.

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

Young Visitor Discount

If your child is aged between 11 and 15 and you don’t want to get a Zip Oyster photocard for them (because it’s not free, and it might end up costing you more money than you’ll actually save), then all is not lost. Transport for London has introduced a Young Visitor Discount especially for tourists. This entitles your children to 50% off the cost of an adult bus fare for a maximum of fourteen days. Note: This discount does not apply to weekly bus passes and monthly bus passes – only to single Oyster fares.

In order to get the Young Visitor Discount all you have to do is buy your child a normal adult pay-as-you-go Oyster card (not a travelcard) and then ask a member of staff to apply the ‘Young Visitor Discount’ to it. You can do this at London Underground stations, a National Rail station (within London), or a London Visitor Centre at Euston station, King’s Cross station, Liverpool Street station, Paddington station, Piccadilly Circus station, Victoria station and Heathrow airport. (Note: There is also one at Gatwick airport, but you can’t apply the Young Visitor Discount there. Don’t ask us why, because we haven’t got a clue!)

Your child must be with you when you do it (up to a maximum of four children per adult), and as soon as the fourteen days are over the Oyster card will revert back to charging adult fares again.

Do children get Hopper fares?

No. Only adults get Hooper fares on the bus.

Questions about child bus fares?

> Ask questions about London bus fares

  •  whipps74 – “Visiting London for one day. Myself and two Friends will be travelling around London and try to see as much as we can within a day. From judging it, it's looking more like we will at some point need to jump on. One or to buses. As I’m their so called tour guide, I would be the only one with a contactless card. Can I pay for all three of us to board a bus or dose each passenger need to pay with their own card.? The other thing is, if I wanted to buy a daily cap of just over £4. Could I buy one each on my card . I assume from what I’ve read that the daily cap is the same as what we call a day ticket here in birmingham. Thanks jj”
  • Admin – “If each person wants to pay a contactless fare than each person will need to pay with their own card. You can't pay multiple fares with one card (it's not possible to tap down more than once and have it deduct multiple fares). You can't buy a daily cap. What happens is this: every time you tap down the computer charges you a fare. The computer keeps track of how many fares you've paid that day. And as soon as it recognises you've reached the daily cap it stops charging you (but you still have to carry on tapping down). What you are describing is a 'travelcard'. It sounds like that's what you'll need. Have a read of our travelcard page, which explains what it is”
  •  Guest – “Hi, if I use contactless for single,bus journey from Victoria to temple in the morning, it will cost £1.50. What if I return later same evening, from temple to Victoria, will that cost £1.50 also? Or will I have to pay capped £4.50? Final question, what will traffic be at approx 6pm on a Tuesday, from temple to Victoria (as I need to catch a coach) ? How long should this journey take? Thank you.”

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