London Bus Tickets & Passes
Buses are by far the cheapest way to travel around London. Unlike the underground, there are no zones for bus travel — the price for a single bus ticket is the same whether your journey is in zone 1 or if you pass through several zones.
For cheap bus fares, you need an Oyster card. For single bus tickets and to pay for unlimited bus travel for one day you can use the card on a Pay as you go (PAYG) basis. Weekly and monthly passes are also loaded onto an Oyster card.
Single bus tickets: Oyster single bus fares 2014
A single bus fare costs £1.45 with a Pay as you go Oyster card.
If you buy a ticket on the bus, it costs £2.40. So it’s worthwhile getting an Oyster card.
A single bus ticket is valid for one, one-way journey/trip. If it takes two buses to reach your destination, you need to pay each time you get on a bus.
Single bus fares for children
All children aged 10 and under travel for free on London buses. See our guide to child tickets & passes for more detailed bus fare information for children.
One day bus travel: Oyster daily bus fares 2014
The paper ticket One Day Bus Pass is no longer available.
If you want the equivalent of an all day bus pass, the way to do it is by using a Pay as you go Oyster card.
Unlimited bus travel for one day
When you use your Oyster to pay for bus travel, there’s a ‘daily cap’. This means that if you make 4 or more bus trips only £4.40 is deducted from your Oyster card balance.
How does the ‘daily cap’ for buses work?
- If you make 1 bus trip, £1.45 is deducted from your card
- If you make 2 trips, £2.90 is deducted
- If you make 3 trips, £4.35 is deducted
- Your 4th bus trip is charged at 5p, so a total of £4.40 is deducted from your Oyster card.
- Your 5th and all other trips you make until 4.30am the following morning are free.
There’s no peak or off peak rate for the bus ‘daily cap’; you can travel around the whole of London between 4.30am until 4.30am the following day for the same price.
Weekly bus pass
If you’re in London for 5–7 days and you only use buses, a one-week bus pass costs £20.20.
The pass entitles you to travel on buses all over London within zones 1–6. It’s the only weekly bus pass you can buy – there isn’t a cheaper version for zones 1-2 for example.
The pass is very good value, especially compared to the cost of a weekly Travelcard.
Bus passes can start on any day of the week and are valid for travel at any time within the dates specified.
Weekly bus passes are loaded onto an Oyster card. If you don’t have an Oyster card, there’s a £5 deposit which is refundable.
Monthly bus pass
A bus pass valid for one month costs £77.60.
You don’t save that much money compared to buying 4 x weekly bus passes, but it saves time remembering to renew it.
Monthly bus passes are loaded onto an Oyster card.
Buying single bus tickets
If you have to buy a single ticket then you can pay on the bus. You pay per bus trip, so if it takes two buses to reach your destination it will cost £4.80 (2 x £2.40).
In central London (zone 1), you can’t pay on the bus on bus routes marked with a yellow background on the bus stop flag. You must use a Pay as you go Oyster card or have a Weekly/Monthly Bus Pass or a Travelcard.
All routes with a white background on the bus stop flag mean you can pay cash on the bus. However, you rarely see anyone doing this as it’s much cheaper and more convenient to use an Oyster card, Travelcard or Weekly/Monthly Bus pass.
Transport for London plan to withdraw the option to pay on the bus in mid-2014.
Where to buy a weekly or monthly bus passes
Weekly and monthly bus passes are available from:
All underground stations sell weekly or monthly bus passes. (They do not sell single bus tickets).
Oyster Ticket Stops
Oyster Ticket Stops are newsagents and local shops that sell London transport passes and Oyster cards. Search for your nearest Oyster Ticket Stop.
London Travel Information Centres
London Transport Travel Information at Liverpool St tube station, Piccadilly Circus tube station, King’s Cross tube station (St Pancras entrance), Victoria train station and Heathrow Terminals 1,2,3 tube station.
- Getting around London – Buses
- Sightseeing by local buses
- Quick guide to London’s transport tickets
- Child tickets and passes
Last updated: 4 March 2014