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Editor's Blog
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Transport for London - Control On The Cards?

It has just been announced by Transport for London (TfL) that London Black Cabs will soon be forced to accept cards for payment of fares.

Last year, TfL banned the use of cash for the payment of bus fares.

Also, last  year, TfL signed a deal which allows contactless credit and debit cards to be used to pay at London Underground ticket barriers.

Do you see a pattern here?

Londoners are being used as Guinea Pigs in a massive social experiment. Namely, running a cashless transport network.

Of course, it is not TfL behind this experiment. It is international card schemes and their partner Financial Institutions.

This is the second time such an experiment has been targeted on London. Visa tried to persuade the UK Authorities to make the London 2012 Olympics Cashless. Rightly, those running the Olympics ruled that people coming from over 200 countries couldn't be forced to use cards, not when over 80% of the worlds payments are still made using cash.

However, TfL are not as concerned with the Public Interest as those running the Olympics. You can tell that every time your life takes you down the Tube. They have happily accepted the card schemes Pieces of Silver, ultimately ruining their home-grown Oyster Card and cooperating in an attempt to destroy cash as a convenient payment method.

TfL quote cost and security as issues that mean cash has to be killed off.

TOTAL RUBBISH.

I have seen their cost figures. Piddling amounts compared to the TfL budgets. Just an excuse - and a bad one.

As for security, of course there are occasionally incidents when cash and crime are connected - BUT a few incidents do NOT justify eliminating cash as a payment method!

ARE MOBILE PHONES BANNED, BECAUSE THEY ARE THE NUMBER ONE TARGET FOR STREET CRIME?

WILL WE BAN WEDDING RINGS, BECAUSE JEWELERS PREMISES ARE SOMETIMES ROBBED?

DO WE STOP HAVING CHURCHES, BECAUSE THIEVES STEAL LEAD FROM THE ROOFS?

BECAUSE COPPER CABLES ARE OFTEN STOLEN FROM POWER STATIONS, WILL WE CEASE TO USE ELECTRICITY? 

One glance at the analogies above demonstrates just how silly and, at the same time self-serving, is the stance adopted by TfL.

Los Angeles is inarguably a far less "safe" city than London, yet on LA buses, cash and cards work happily alongside each other as payment methods. Happily for the public, who the Los Angeles Bus Operators clearly consider, unlike TfL in relation to Londoners.

TfL is, of course, ardently supported by the London Mayor, the  man of bad bike deals and airports built in the middle of rivers.

Never mind. Boris will soon be gone - and shortly the directors of TfL will be following him out of the door.

Decisions, like buses, can be reversed - and those recently taken by TfL soon will be.

 

 

 

Thursday, 4th February 2016

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