Tube Travel Payment Methods

Questions to the Mayor of London – answered on 26th February 2021.

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Photo of Shaun Bailey Shaun Bailey Conservative

What statistics do you have for how users pay for their travel on the tube broken down by the different method of payments in % terms?

Photo of Sadiq Khan Sadiq Khan Mayor of London

The table below shows the number of Tube customers in the eight weeks between 6 December 2020 – 1 February 2021 by their purchase behaviour during that period.

“Tube user” is defined as any customer making at least one smartcard tap at any Tube station during the last eight weeks. This analysis does not include any customers purchasing and using paper tickets; paper tickets account for 10 per cent of all travel made using the Tube, most of which are retailed by National Rail train operating companies.

This analysis covers eight weeks as this data is only retained at an individual card level for eight weeks after the card is used. Beyond this point, the journey data in the ticketing system is disassociated from a card.

Tube user purchase behaviour

Number of cards (m)

Proportion of cards (%)

No purchases made - used Contactless Payment Card or mobile payment (e.g. Apple Pay) to travel using contactless, existing Pay As You Go credit or season ticket purchased before 6 December



No purchases made - travelled using a concessionary pass (e.g. Freedom Pass) or with a season ticket (e.g. annual) purchased before 6 December or existing Pay As You Go credit



Made one or more purchases at a location other than a Tube station, e.g. Oyster Ticket Stop or National Rail station (payment method uncertain)



Made one or more purchases at a Tube station using card



Made one or more purchases at a Tube station using cash



Made two or more purchases at a Tube station using both cash and card