Pay as you go caps
What is a cap?
A cap limits how much you pay for all your journeys in one day or week.
You can make as many journeys as you like and when all your fares add up to a certain amount, we won't charge you more (your fare is automatically capped). Always touch in and out with the same card or device.
There are different caps for the times of day you travel (peak and off-peak) and the transport you use:
- Cap for bus, Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground, Elizabeth line and National Rail journeys in London
- Cap for bus and tram journeys
If you make several rail journeys, or a mixture of rail, bus and tram journeys in one day, daily capping is better value than buying a Day Travelcard in Zones 1-9.
There are peak and off-peak daily caps depending on when you start your journey.
How a cap works
We work out when you've reached a cap because we log every journey you make and keep track of:
- Zones you've travelled through
- The time you touch in on each journey
- All fares you pay
You must touch in at start and touch out at the end of every journey, using the same contactless card, device or Oyster card. If you don't you may be charged a maximum fare.
If you use contactless, always use the same card or device. If you don't, we can't cap your fares. For example, if you pay with a mobile device on Monday and a contactless card on Tuesday, these fares won't count towards a weekly cap.
A daily cap is calculated over 24 hours for pay as you go journeys that start at 04:30 and end on 04:29 the next day.
A weekly cap limits how much you pay for all your journeys in a fixed Monday to Sunday period. It works using adult rate pay as you go on contactless (card or device) or Oyster.
If you do a single week of travel starting later in the week, for example from Thursday to Wednesday, there are not enough days up to Sunday to reach a weekly cap. So you may find it better value to buy a 7 Day Travelcard.
But generally, pay as you go with weekly capping does not exceed the price of a 7 Day Travelcard and it is likely to prove better value. With pay as you go, you only pay for days on which you travel, which in some weeks might turn out to be less than you intend. With a 7 Day Travelcard you always pay for the equivalent of five days' travel.
Off-peak caps at different times
If you travel from a station listed below on a weekday, between the touch in time and 09:30, you're charged a peak pay as you go fare. However, your journey will count towards an off-peak cap.
|Station||Touch in from|
|Chalfont & Latimer||09:20|
|Watford High Street||09:10|
|Slough (contactless only)||09:20|
|Taplow (contactless only)||09:10|
|Maidenhead (contactless only)||09:18|
|Twyford (contactless only)||09:10|
Automatic reductions and retrospective refunds
If your total fares have reached more than the cap for the span of zones your travel covered during one day of travel, we'll automatically subtract the difference.
We check weekly caps around the end of each week, taking into account the innermost and outermost zones over the week as a whole. So your total fares for the week could be automatically reduced, as with daily capping, and this could occur on, for example, the Friday or Saturday.
In the case of an Oyster card, if various combinations of caps and individual fares were possible, a further retrospective reduction may be calculated so you get best value for the past week. This type of reduction can be picked up as a refund when you next touch in (or perhaps at a later date, as small refunds are usually batched together before being issued).