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.
We list the options available to pay for single bus tickets or for unlimited bus travel for one day, one week or one month.
Single bus tickets: Oyster/contactless single bus fares
London buses are ‘cashless’. You can’t buy a bus ticket on the bus.
To pay for travel by bus in London you need one of the following:
- a Pay as you go Oyster card
- a contactless credit or debit card
- One Day Bus & Tram Pass
- a weekly/monthly Bus Pass
- a paper One Day or Weekly Travelcard
- a weekly/monthly Travelcard loaded onto an Oyster card
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 a new ‘one-hour’ hopper fare for Pay as you go Oyster/contactless card users. You can take as many bus journeys as you want in a one-hour period for £1.50.
The £1.50 hopper fare now applies if you use the tube or train between your bus journeys.
One day bus travel: Oyster/contactless daily bus fares
Bus ‘daily cap’
This is the maximum amount deducted from your card for unlimited travel by bus in London in one day. If you make 3 or more bus trips*, £4.50 is taken from your Oyster/contactless card.
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.
* a ‘bus trip’ means either a single trip on a bus or an unlimited amount of bus trips in a one hour period.
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 One Day Bus Pass for £5.
- This is a paper ticket giving you unlimited bus travel until 04.29am the following day.
- Available from all underground station ticket machines, Oyster ticket stops, London Overground ticket offices, train station ticket offices and Transport for London Visitor Centres.
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 can start on any day of the week and is valid for travel at any time within the dates specified.
- Weekly bus passes are loaded onto an Oyster card (£5 deposit).
Compared to the cost of a weekly Travelcard, it’s good value.
Weekly bus capping with an Oyster card
From 17 December 2018, if you have an Oyster card, bus fares will be capped from Monday to Sunday (the same as contactless cards). This means you will not pay more than £21.20, the cost of the standard weekly bus pass.
As the fares are calculated from Monday-Sunday, it mainly benefits people living and working in London rather than visitors. If you plan to visit London for seven days and first use the buses on Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday buy an ordinary weekly bus pass instead.
Monthly bus pass
A one month bus pass is £81.50.
There’s not a huge saving compared to buying 4 x weekly passes, but it saves remembering to renew.
Monthly bus passes are loaded onto an Oyster card.
Where to buy a weekly or monthly bus passes
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.
Transport for London Visitor Centres
Transport for London 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 1, 2 & 3 tube station.
Other bus ticket info
Are Travelcards valid on buses?
One day, weekly or monthly Travelcards are valid on London buses. Travelcards valid for any zone can be used to ride the buses all over London.
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 to buy. If you have a Bus Saver ticket, it is 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 Oyster card. The next time you top-up your card, you need to clear the negative balance before using it again.
- Guide to London’s transport tickets
- How to get around by bus
- Sightseeing by local buses
- Child tickets and passes
Last updated: 17 December 2018