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 now ‘cashless’. You can’t buy single tickets 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 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.
At the moment, if it takes two buses to reach your destination, you need to pay each time you get on a bus. A new ‘one hour’ hopper fare will start in September.
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 children.
Bus Saver tickets
These are no longer available. But if you have some they can still be used as long as you show them to the bus driver when boarding.
‘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 is deducted from your Oyster card
- Your 4th and all other trips you make until 4.30am the following morning are free.
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 now 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: 21 July 2016