London bus passengers now have to pay for travel again

Buses on 85 London routes are now charging for travel again after a month of waiving fees to keep drivers safe.

Passengers will have to touch in or show their concession card on all routes ‘once further safety measures have been introduced to protect bus drivers’, Transport for London (TfL) said.

The 85 routes were chosen because they are served by single-door and New Routemaster buses.

TfL buses had stopped requiring passengers to pay on April 20 to protect drivers, 29 of whom have died after testing positive for coronavirus.

Buses on the 85 routes no longer have openings in drivers’ protective screens for cash, and the communication holes in the screens have been sealed off.

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Passengers are still being urged to cover their faces to protect drivers and each other.

A ‘rigorous cleaning regime’ has also been introduced across all TfL transport, including disinfection of passenger areas and hand sanitiser dispensers installed at bus and Tube stations.

The resumption of bus fares was required as part of a £1.6 billion bailout agreement reached between the government and TfL last week.

Services were this week boosted to 85 per cent of normal levels, and the TfL said it is working to bring this up to 100 per cent ‘as soon as possible’.

People are still required to avoid making non-essential journeys on all forms of public transport.

TfL’s director of bus operations Claire Mann said: ‘This is a phased return to reinstating payments, so please follow the instructions and signage on the bus.

‘And whatever buses you use, please wear a face covering. This allows bus drivers, and those who need to use buses, to continue to do so safely.’

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