I recently received an email from TfL proposing to stop all cash payments on all London buses. I think this is a stupid idea because the cash option should always be available if need be. Oyster Cards have meant that a great deal of waiting time has been cut down now people do not have to pay to board, and only on very rare occasions do I see people paying (usually when they have insufficient funds on their card). This means that journeys are very rarely delayed because of somebody needing to pay, and if they are, it is only by a few minutes.
As a young woman, who uses the bus to get home late at night (usually a little worse for wear) sometimes I find cash payments useful in case I have forgotten to top up. At this time of night, it is hard to find a shop or station that is open late where I can top up, and wondering about looking for one can be dangerous. Having the option to pay as I board has saved my skin on a few occasions, and I'm sure it will in the future.
If TfL really are worried about the increase in journey times through cash payments, surely they should bring back the bus conductors. The driver will then be able to concentrate on driving and the conductor on the well being of the bus and its passengers. Not only will they be able to take payments, but also would act as a deterrent of anti social behaviour. A few years ago I was randomly attacked by a few teenage girls on the top deck of a bus, and I'm sure if there had been a conductor on board, this would not have happened.
It would also create a huge amount of much-needed jobs across the capital, that really could help improve the lives of many Londoners.
Is the return of bus conductors a great idea or not? Comment below and let me know what you think!