For a reliable and speedy way to get around London, why not choose to take a famous London Double Decker Bus. It is also the cheapest way to get around the capital and might even give you a chance to do a bit of sightseeing on your journey.
The whole of the city of London is covered by its round-the-clock bus network. Keep reading below for details of how to get around using London Buses.
How to Pay for your Bus Journey
Important information first – It is not possible to pay for a London Bus journey with cash.
A standard single fare will cost you £1.50, but it needs to be paid for using a Oyster card, Visitor Oyster card, contactless debit card or Travelcard.
An interesting and useful feature when using a bus is the ‘hopper’ service, which allows you to make a second journey on another bus, so long as it is taken within 1 hour of first touching in with your card of choice. To take full advantage of this offer, the second journey must be made using the same card you made the first one with. For more details, please check www.tfl.gov.uk.
As long as you use the same card for each journey you make, the amount you’ll pay will be capped at £4.50 if you only travel within London’s boundaries.
If you are travelling from outside the UK, then you need to check with your bank for any charges that could be incurred or transaction fees that may apply.
When entering the bus, you must show the driver your paper Travel card or tap your Oyster card, Visitor Oyster card or contactless card on the yellow reader. It is important to remember to keep your payment card away from all of your other cards, to minimise the chances of tapping in with the wrong or multiple cards.
With both an Oyster card and a Visitor Oyster card, it is possible to make one more bus journey after you run out of credit. It will then become necessary to top it up before you can use it to travel again.
If you would like more details about bus fares in London, please refer to Transport For London’s website www.tfl.gov.uk.
Still not completely sure which ticket you should buy?
Not certain about how a Visitor Oyster card is used?
Please read our Frequently Asked Questions for more advice on using an Oyster card.
Bus and Tram Passes in London
A valid Bus and Tram Pass can be used on the TFL tram and bus network in the capital, which do not have fares that are governed by ‘zones’.
With a 1 Day Bus & Tram Pass, its bearer is able to be used on an unlimited basis on the entire TFL tram and bus network. The cost is £5 and it can be used for the entire day and up until 4.30am the next day.
Tram & Bus Pass Prices for 2017 (Based on standard fare per adult)
- £21.20 for 7 days
- £81.50 for 1 month
- £848 for 1 year
Keep reading for more information on Bus Fares.
London bus fare concessions
There is no charge for children under 11 years of age on London buses and trams.
A Freedom Pass is an excellent way for wheelchair users, the elderly and the disabled to enjoy free travel in the capital. Even if you aren’t from London and have been issued a pass by a different council body, you can still use it to travel for free on London buses that bear the Red Roundel symbol.
Stopping a London Bus
It is only possible to depart a London bus at designated stops, this is only place a driver will stop. They will not do so between stops, even when asked.
When you are approaching your stop, you need to make the driver aware that you need to get off. This can be done by pressing one of the big red buttons that are situated on many of the upright posts dotted around the bus. Pressing the button will normally make a bell sound, which is accompanied by the ‘Bus Stopping’ sign lighting up at the front, by the driver.
Timetables and Maps for London Buses
Visit our ‘Free Maps’ page to download your copy of Central London’s bus routes. Alternatively, you can pick up a hard copy paper version at any of the TFL Visitor Centres. For access to timetables for all of London’s bus routes, please visit www.tfl.gov.uk.
Night Bus Services in the Capital
Many bus companies in London operate 24 hours per day, which means that part of their services are referred to as the Night Bus. This covers the time period after which the underground closes for the night and when day buses start operating again.
If you’re not too conversant with London bus routes, then we would recommend heading to Trafalgar Square, as this is the official centre for night buses. If that’s too far away, this information can also be found on the information board of any bus stop. Services will be less regular during this time and the etiquette of stopping one is slightly different. During the night, you will need to physically signal to the driver that you want them to stop, or they’ll just drive on by.
Bus Tours in London
A bus tour around London is the ideal way to get to know the City of London in a relaxed and enjoyable way. Without the stress and aggravation of finding your way around, you’re free to fully appreciate the magnificent architecture, statues and monuments that can be found in the capital. Guides on these buses provide commentary on sights and landmarks seen on the journey and can be enjoyed in several different languages.
If you’d like to take a slightly cheaper tour without a guide, there are some great sights to be seen on routes 9, 14, 15, 22, 24, 38, 148 & 390.
Information on Accessibility
Each and every bus in London (with the only exception of Heritage Routemaster vehicles) is a low floor vehicles that can all be easily accessed by those with limited mobility. That’s 8,500 buses all useable by everyone! In addition to this, bus travel in London is free for users of wheelchairs.
The innovative low floor design of these buses allow wheelchairs, prams, the visually impaired with guide dogs and those with other mobility issues to board and alight quickly and easily. Each bus has a retractable ramp that is kept operational at all times.
There is room for one wheelchair user on all buses, which can be up 28 inches wide and 47 inches long. This area can be used by others, but those in wheelchairs take priority. As long as there is enough space on the bus, there is no maximum number of guide dogs allowed on the bus at one time.
For more detailed information, please see TFL’s guide to accessibility.
Travelling in and out of London by Bus or Coach
Coaches offer some amazingly great deals on travel to and from London from many destinations around Europe and in the UK.
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