How To Use Mobile Ticketing For London Buses

how to use london buses without oyster

Mobile Ticketing has greatly revolutionized the way we travel. Gone are the days when we had to stand in long queues to get our transportation tickets or carry physical tickets everywhere we went. With the rise of mobile ticketing, we can now book and purchase tickets directly from our smartphones, making it easier and more convenient to travel.

One such form of mobile ticketing is the ability to use your phone as a ticket on public transportation. In London, this means that you can use your mobile phone to buy tickets and board the bus without the need for an Oyster card. This feature is particularly useful for occasional travelers or tourists who may not have an Oyster card on hand or who are not familiar with the system.

To use your mobile phone to buy tickets on London buses, all you need is a smartphone and internet access. You can download the relevant mobile ticketing app, create an account, and then purchase your bus ticket. Once you have purchased your ticket, it will be stored on your phone and can be accessed at any time.

Mobile ticketing on London buses is not only more convenient but also more environmentally friendly as it reduces the need for paper tickets. It is also a great way to minimize contact and help maintain social distancing measures during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

In this article, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to use your mobile phone to buy tickets and board a London bus without an Oyster card.

how to use london buses without oyster


To use London buses without an Oyster card, you can download the TfL Oyster app from the app store on your phone. Once it’s downloaded, you can create an account and add credit to your digital wallet. When you board the bus, simply tap your phone on the yellow card reader when you get on and off. The fare will automatically be deducted from your digital wallet. Remember to make sure your phone has enough battery and that the app is working properly.

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Mobile App

A mobile app is a software application that can be downloaded and installed on a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet. There are several mobile apps available that can help you use London buses without using an Oyster card. One such app is the “MyBusTickets” app, which allows you to purchase and store bus tickets on your mobile device.

how to use london buses without oyster

To use this app, you first need to download and install it on your mobile device. Once installed, you can purchase a bus ticket by selecting the “Bus Tickets” option in the app menu. From here, you can choose your destination and purchase a single or return journey ticket.

After purchasing your ticket, you need to activate it before boarding the bus. To activate your ticket, simply click the “Activate” button in the app, and the ticket will be activated for use. Once activated, you can simply show your ticket to the bus driver when boarding the bus.

Using a mobile app to purchase and store bus tickets can be a convenient and efficient way to travel on London buses without using an Oyster card. However, it is important to ensure that you have a fully charged mobile device and a stable internet connection to ensure that your ticket is valid and can be used on the bus.

Sign Up

To use London buses without an Oyster card, you can sign up for a contactless payment card. This can be done through your bank or by purchasing one from a shop that offers them. You will need to link the contactless payment card to your bank account and then tap the card on the yellow reader located on the bus when boarding and exiting. The cost of the journey will be automatically deducted from your account. It’s important to note that the same fare rules apply to contactless payment cards as they do to Oyster cards.

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Bus Journey

If you’re tired of the typical tourist experience, learn how to get out of London without really trying with alternative travel modes. Using London buses without Oyster is still possible and straightforward. Firstly, you need to prepare for the exact change when you board the bus. The driver will not provide any change, so you have to make sure you have the correct fare or a sufficient amount. Secondly, you can purchase a one-day bus pass using a credit card on the bus. The one-day bus pass costs £5.00 and allows you to take an unlimited number of bus journeys, including night buses, within a 24 hour period. Lastly, you can use a contactless credit or debit card or Apple Pay and Google Pay to pay for your bus fare. These payment methods are the same as using an Oyster card and are capped at the same rate as Oyster card fares. You can easily check your balance and top-up online or at a shop or station. Don’t forget to always check the bus fare before you embark on your journey, as fares can vary depending on the zone you travel to. So, hop on a bus and explore the city without an Oyster card in your pocket.

Show Driver

When using London buses without an Oyster card, it is necessary to pay the fare in cash. When boarding the bus, look for the “show driver” sign on the fare box next to the driver. Press the button and insert the correct fare into the slot. The driver will issue a paper ticket, which must be kept until the end of the journey. It is important to have the exact fare ready as the driver may not have change.

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Qr Code

QR code is a two-dimensional barcode that contains information and can be scanned using a smartphone camera. In order to use London buses without Oyster, passengers can use a QR code provided by Transport for London (TfL) on their mobile phones. To use this service, passengers first need to download the TfL app and create an account. Once logged in, they can select the bus journey they wish to take and purchase a ticket using their debit or credit card. Once the transaction has been completed, the app will generate a QR code ticket which the passenger can show to the driver as they board the bus. The QR code ticket is only valid for the journey specified and can be used immediately or saved for future use within one month of purchase. QR code technology offers a convenient and easy way for passengers to pay for bus journeys without needing to carry cash or an Oyster card. Additionally, QR codes provide a contactless and hygienic way to pay, which is especially important during the current COVID-19 pandemic.


To use London buses without an Oyster card, you can scan your contactless debit or credit card on the yellow card reader located on the bus. This reader is usually located on the right-hand side as you enter the bus. To scan your card, hold it up to the reader and wait for the green light to flash, indicating that your card has been scanned successfully. If your card is not registered for contactless payments or is not a UK-issued card, you may not be able to use this service.

When scanning your card, make sure that you have enough funds available to make the journey. The contactless payment system will charge you the same fare as with an Oyster card. If there is an issue with your card, such as not having enough funds, the reader will display a red light and you will not be allowed to board the bus.

It is important to remember to scan your card both when boarding and exiting the bus, as these are treated as two separate journeys. If you forget to scan when exiting, you may be charged the maximum fare. Similarly, if you board a bus without scanning your card, you may be fined.

Scanning your contactless card is a quick and convenient way to pay for your bus journey without needing an Oyster card, and it means that you only pay for the journeys you make.

how to use london buses without oyster


When using London buses without an Oyster card, it is important to board the bus through the front doors. As you enter the bus, you will see the ticket machine to your right. To purchase a ticket, you should inform the driver of your destination and pay the fare. The driver will then issue you with a ticket, which must be validated using the machine. You should keep the ticket with you throughout your journey and surrender it upon request by an authorized person. It is important to note that if you do not have the correct fare, the driver may not provide change, so make sure you have the correct coinage or note.

how to use london buses without oyster

Once you have your ticket, you can move towards the back of the bus to find a seat or stand if necessary. If the bus is full, you may have to wait for the next one. When you reach your destination, you should signal the driver you want to alight by pressing the red button, known as the ‘stop’ button. This will alert the driver to stop at the next bus stop. If you are unsure where your stop is, you can ask the driver for help or use the information displayed on the onboard display or your mobile phone.

As you leave the bus, remember to take your ticket with you as evidence of payment. If an inspector requests to see your ticket, you must produce it for inspection. Failure to do so may result in a fine, which can be costly in comparison to the fare. By following these steps, you can use London buses without an Oyster card and get around the city with ease.


In conclusion, traveling around London by bus does not require an Oyster card. Even if Oyster cards offer more convenience, there are alternate methods of payment available that are just as easy to use. There are different types of bus cards in London. You can either use a contactless debit or credit card, a Visitor Oyster card, or even just cash to ride the bus.

To use a contactless card, simply tap it on the yellow card reader as you board the bus. Always remember to tap it both on and off the bus to ensure you are charged the correct fare. If you prefer to use cash, be sure to have the exact change (or even better, a bit more in case you need to change buses or get delayed).

If you’re visiting London, the Visitor Oyster card is a great option, which can be ordered in advance online. These cards offer discounted fares and can be returned at the end of your trip for a refund of any remaining credit.

Lastly, it’s important to note that while these methods of payment are available, they aren’t necessarily the cheapest option. If you’re a frequent bus rider, you may want to consider getting an Oyster card, as it offers lower fares and caps on daily and weekly travel. Nevertheless, if you are a sporadic bus user, then using contactless or cash payments may work out to be the most affordable and convenient options for you.