Buses are 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.
To pay for single bus tickets or for unlimited bus travel for one day, you need an Oyster card, a contactless debit or credit card or a One Day Bus Pass
Weekly and monthly bus passes are also available. These are loaded onto an Oyster card.
One day, weekly or monthly Travelcards are also valid on London buses. Travelcards valid for any zone can be used to ride the buses all over London. If you only use the buses, don’t buy a Travelcard. It’s cheaper to use a pay as you go Oyster card/contactless card or a bus pass.
Single bus tickets: Oyster/contactless single bus fares
London buses are ‘cashless’. You can’t pay on a bus and all the bus ticket machines have been removed.
Anyone who wants to travel by bus in London needs one of the following:
- a Pay as you go Oyster card
- a contactless credit or debit card
- One Day Bus & Tram Pass
- a paper One Day or Weekly Travelcard
- a weekly Travelcard loaded onto an Oyster card
- a Weekly Bus Pass
A single bus fare costs £1.50 with a Pay as you go Oyster card and contactless credit/debit card.
‘One Hour’ hopper fare
There is now a new ‘one hour’ hopper fare for Pay as you go Oyster card or contactless car users. This allows you to take two buses in a one hour period for £1.50.
As long as you touch your Oyster or contactless card on the second bus within an hour of touching in on your first bus, you will only be charged £1.50 for that journey.
You can’t use the tube or train between your two bus journeys. If you do this, the hopper fare will not apply.
Single bus fares for children
All children aged 10 and under travel for free on London buses. See child tickets & passes for bus fare information for older children.
Bus Saver tickets
These are no longer available, but if you have some they’re still valid. Just show it to the bus driver when boarding the bus.
‘One more journey’ feature
If you don’t have £1.50 on your Oyster, you can use it to pay for a bus trip as long as you have between 1p–£1.49 credit on your card. The next time you top-up your Oyster, you need to clear the negative balance before using it again.
One day bus travel: Oyster/contactless daily bus fares
Unlimited bus travel for one day
When you use a Pay as you go Oyster or a contactless card to pay for bus travel, there’s a ‘daily cap’. If you make 3 or more bus trips*, £4.50 is the maximum amount deducted from your card in one day.
How does the ‘daily cap’ for buses work?
- If you make 1 bus trip*, £1.50 is deducted from your card
- If you make 2 trips, £3.00 is deducted
- If you make 3 trips, £4.50 is deducted from your Oyster card
- Your 4th and all other trips you make until 4.30am the following morning are free.
*From 12 September 2016 a ‘bus trip’ means one or two bus trips in a one hour period.
Contactless payments are taken from your card on the next working day.
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 4.29am the following day for the same price.
One day bus pass
If you don’t want to use an Oyster card and don’t have a contactless card, you can buy a £5 One Day Bus Pass for unlimited bus travel until 04.29am the following day.
Weekly bus pass
If you’re in London for 5, 6 or 7 days and only use buses, a one-week bus pass costs £21.20.
The pass entitles you to travel on buses all over London within zones 1–6. It’s the only weekly bus pass available — there isn’t a cheaper version for zones 1-2.
It’s good value 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.
Monthly bus pass
A bus pass valid for one month costs £81.50.
You don’t save much money compared to buying 4 x weekly bus passes, but it saves remembering to renew it.
Monthly bus passes are loaded onto an Oyster card.
Where to buy a weekly or monthly bus passes
Weekly and monthly bus passes are available from:
Underground station ticket machines
Weekly or monthly bus passes are available from all underground station ticket machines. NB All underground ticket offices have closed.
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 Transport Visitor Centres
London Transport Visitor Centres at Piccadilly Circus tube station, King’s Cross tube station (St Pancras entrance), Liverpool St tube station, Victoria train station, Paddington train station, Euston train station, Gatwick airport and near Heathrow Terminals 2 & 3 tube station.
- Guide to London’s transport tickets
- How to get around by bus
- Sightseeing by local buses
- Child tickets and passes
Last updated: 12 September 2016