by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
A sign of things to come?
Cash fares will no longer be accepted on London buses from July 6, 2014 Transport for London (TfL) has announced.
TfL said a ‘considerable drop’ in the number of people paying their bus fare in cash was behind the decision expected to bring £130m savings over the next nine years. Thus London commuters and anyone else using the buses in London will need an Oyster card, pre-paid ticket or contactless payment cards to travel on the capital's buses.
Leon Daniels, managing director for TfL Surface Transport, said: “As Londoners and visitors change the way they pay for goods and services in the capital I am proud that we at the forefront of that change.
“Customers will not only benefit from a quicker, cheaper and more convenient method of paying their bus fare; it will also enable us to save millions of pounds each year – which will be reinvested in further improvements to the capital’s transport network.”
Almost 1,800 commuters have been given refunds totaling £11,000 after Oyster readers charged the wrong card when the machines deducted the money from their credit or debit cards kept in the same wallet with the Oyster card while, it would appear, in many cases also debiting the Oyster card. Therefore TfL now advises people to carry the two cards in different wallets.
TfL said around 25 per cent of journeys were paid for using cash in 2000, compared with around one per cent today.
What we are seeing here, I believe, is a slow way of getting people used to not using cash at all anymore and then, sooner or later, outlawing the use of cash altogether and this move has, incrementally, been happening for some time already in several fields.
Already now, if a person wants to tender over £1,000 in cash for any kind of transaction the police are immediately called and questions are being asked as to why this person is using cash and not some other means.
Most stores now refuse to use (personal) checks and it will not be far now before stores will refuse to accept cash and all cash transactions above a small amount will either be illegal or will be subject to police investigation.
So, we may be seeing here the first steps towards getting the population to accept total cash-free and check-free operations, at least in the “official” economy.
And why this move? Easy. When we use our cards each and every purchase, each and every trip that we take, etc., is recorded and accessible by government. Much like our cell phone records telling them where we (may) have been at any particular time of the day; or at least where our phone has been. The aim is total surveillance of the population, including visitors, and this is yet another means to this end.