Contactless payment has been rolled out on MBNA Thames Clippers services in London.

Passengers can save money by tapping in and out with their cards or mobiles to travel on the routes, which include trips from Canary Wharf to Surrey Quays, Greenwich, Tower Bridge and London Bridge and in total cover 28km of the Thames between Putney and Woolwich.

CEO Sean Collins said it was “one of the biggest milestones” in the service’s history and would improve customers pre-boarding experiences.

Charges are based on three river fare zones – West, Central and East and are less than buying a paper ticket.

They are the same as using Oyster, which was introduced on Clippers in September 2015 and has so far been used for 500,000 journeys.

The Plantation Wharf Pier

Contactless payments have now been brought in by TfL to encourage better use of the river and help it hits its target of 12 million passenger journeys a year by 2020.

In 2014, MBNA Thames Clippers’ passenger numbers increased by 500,000 to 3.8million. In 2016 the business is projected to carry in excess of 4.3million commuters and visitors.

Its improvement plan has already seen two new vessels added to the Clipper fleet last year, revamps of piers, signs and the delivery of live information and work started on pier extensions at Bankside and Westminster to create extra capacity and allow more boats to call there.

Read more: £2.8m river pier opens to handle Clippers' latest boats

General manager for river services at TfL Andy Thompson said: “There is no better way of experiencing London than by taking to the river. By enabling customers to pay for River Bus services using contactless cards, a crucial part of our wider plans for the river, we hope to open up the Thames to more people and help make journeys across the capital significantly easier for all.”

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