About River Bus

River Bus services run from early morning until late evening and the River Bus Express is a dedicated service running before and after events at the O2 in North Greenwich. Five River Bus routes operate from 20 piers between Putney and Woolwich, where the Woolwich Ferry crosses the river between Woolwich and North Woolwich.

River Bus services are operated by MBNA Thames Clippers, visit their site for more information www.thamesclippers.com or phone: 020 7001 2200. TfL manages the piers and licenses river passenger services, to contact TfL phone: 0343 222 1234 (TfL call charges) or email river@tfl.gov.uk.

MBNA Thames Clippers offer a fast and frequent service with departures from major London piers every 20 minutes, other routes vary so please check routes and timetables before you travel.

All River Bus boats are covered and you are guaranteed a seat: most boats also have a small outside deck area. There are kiosks onboard serving hot and cold drinks, snacks and refreshments, and most boats have accessible toilets.

MBNA Thames Clippers boats are all wheelchair accessible and ramps are used to board the boat. All piers offer step-free access, except Cadogan Pier, Wandsworth Riverside Quarter Pier and London Bridge City Pier  is very steep so not recommended for wheelchair users. A maximum of four wheelchairs and a further three folding wheelchairs can be accommodated on larger boats. Members of the MBNA Thames Clippers Mobility Scooter Recognition Scheme are also able to bring their mobility scooters on board.

Bikes are allowed on board and there are 10 spaces available on larger boats - these are offered on a first- come-first-served basis. Dogs can also travel on River Bus services but must be kept on a lead.

Fares and tickets

You can use contactless or Oyster to pay as you go on MBNA Thames Clippers services. Alternatively, you can buy tickets in advance from the MBNA Thames Clippers website, by telephone, or on the day from a pier ticket office or machine. The MBNA Thames Clippers smartphone ticketing app also allows you to buy tickets on the go. You must ensure you pay for travel before boarding the boat.

A zonal fares system is in place for River Bus services, and the fare you pay depends upon the zones you travel through: east, central or west zones. A full fares table and the River Bus route map can be found on the MBNA Thames Clippers website.

Using contactless or Oyster

You can use contactless or Oyster to pay as you go on all MBNA Thames Clippers services. Once instructed to board the boat, touch in on the yellow card reader and remember to touch out again at the end of your journey, this includes interchanges. A member of MBNA Thames Clippers staff must see you touch in.

If you are using contactless or Oyster to pay as you go, you will pay a lower rate fare. (This also applies to those who purchase tickets via the smartphone app.)

You can't top up your Oyster card at River Bus piers, so make sure you have enough pay as you go credit on your Oyster card before you travel.

Journeys made using contactless or Oyster on River Bus services do not count towards capping.

Travelcard discount

If you have a Travelcard, either a paper ticket or loaded on an Oyster card, you will receive a one third discount on standard price adult and child fares. If you have a paper ticket, present it at the pier ticket office to receive a discount or buy your ticket via the smartphone app. If you have a Travelcard loaded on your Oyster card as well as pay as you go credit, the one third discount will automatically be applied as you touch in on the yellow reader.

Freedom Pass discount

Freedom Passes are not compatible with pay as you go on River Bus services, if you are a Freedom Pass holder you must buy a ticket before travelling which is offered at a discounted rate.

Freedom Pass, 60+ Oyster and War Veteran Oyster card holders receive 50% discount, and this will always be off the lower rate fare, whether you purchase via the phone app or at a pier ticket office.

Season tickets

Regular River Bus customers may save money by buying a season ticket. Weekly, monthly and annual season tickets are available. 18+ Student Oyster photocard holders and Apprentice Oyster photocard holders get a third off season tickets. .


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