London's technology for swiping your credit card to board a train or bus could be coming to other cities. The British capital's transit authority Transport for London (TfL) has licensed its contactless technology to be used elsewhere, with the money earned earmarked for a fare freeze for London's commuters.
London's contactless ticketing system allows anyone with a contactless credit or debit card to swipe it on readers in stations and on buses, allowing you to travel without a ticket. At the end of each day, the system calculates how far you travelled and deducts the correct amount, applying a daily or weekly cap to your spending if you travel often enough. Mobile devices that do contactless can also be used to jump on a bus or train or the London underground.
TfL and infrastructure company Cubic worked together to introduce the Oyster swipe card in 2003, allowing commuters to store season tickets or pay-as-you-go credit on a single card. The same system of card readers then added contactless payment from 2012. Cubic will now take the contactless technology to other countries.
Newly elected Mayor of London Sadiq Khan announced the deal as the first to market TfL's expertise around the globe. The income from this deal -- said by TfL to be worth £15 million -- and future deals will be invested in London's transit system. The money will also go towards a fare freeze promised by Khan in his election manifesto.