Financial Times journalist goes viral after her £1.50 cashless bus fare morphs into a £450 fine

calendar iconOct 15, 2019

On October 10th, 2019, a Financial Times reporter published a personal account of what happened when her cashless bus journey ended with a criminal record and almost £500 less in her bank account. Within a couple of days, the story went viral.

In London, the wheels on the bus may go round and round, but so do the problems passengers have with its cashless system introduced in June 2014. Financial technology journalist explains how her £1.50 bus fare quickly escalated into a £450 fine after her smartphone died, leaving her unable to prove that she paid for her ride until it was too late.

Excerpt from Financial Times

It all started one October afternoon last year, when a bus inspector asked to see my £1.50 ticket. I had tapped into the bus with my iPhone using Apple Pay, but alas, in the five minutes since I’d boarded, my phone had run out of juice, so I had no means of proving that I had paid.

"When my phone died I couldn’t prove that I had bought a bus ticket with Apple Pay."
"Jemima KellyJemima writes for FT AlphavilleFinancial Times Oct 10, 2019

The inspector took my details and I didn’t think much more about it. Until December 28, that is, when, as I set out towards celebration number 103 of the Christmas season, I noticed a rather serious-looking letter addressed to me lying on the hall rug...

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Last Updated: Nov 18, 2019