Freeflow

Freeflow logo

Freeflow is a convenient way to pay for your bus travel using contactless payment.

Simply tap on at the driver's ticket machine at the start of each journey (when you board the bus/coach) and tap off at the end of each journey using a contactless payment method (Visa/Mastercard payment card or device using Google Pay or Apple Pay).

The price will be the same as buying an adult single paper ticket on the bus.

The total you pay each day automatically caps to the price of a day ticket for the area that you travelled in, if this is less than the total cost of the single fares. Capping will only work properly if you use the same card or device for all journeys in a day.

This system helps reduce boarding times too, which is great for speeding up bus journeys.

To use Freeflow, there's no need to register or sign up. Just board the bus using your card or device to tap on - and don’t forget to tap off when you exit.

Looking for your journey and fare history?

You can quickly and easily check your travel and payment history by selecting "Contactless Journeys" in the Oxford Bus Company app, or at the top of this page.

How do I use Freeflow?

Ticket Machine

1. Tap on

When you board the bus, simply place your card or device on the ticket machine reader at the front of the bus, wait for the beep and the screen will display “Accepted”. You don’t need to tell the driver where you’re going.

Tap Out Reader

2. Tap off

When you leave the bus, tap off at the exit reader and the screen will display “Accepted”. If the reader is not working, you can still tap off using the driver's ticket machine.

Journey History

3. Journey history

You can quickly and easily check your travel and payment history by selecting "Contactless Journeys" in the Oxford Bus Company app, or at the top of this page. You can also manage your different cards. Journey and payment history is available for 1 year.

Contactless journeys in the Oxford Bus Company app

Who can use it?

Freeflow is perfect for: 

Adults who would like to buy one or more single tickets, or a day ticket from the driver on Oxford Bus Company and Thames Travel services.

Ticket capping

Freeflow - You Tap, We Capcityzone day cap
Travel anywhere within the cityzone in a single day and your fare will automatically be capped to £4.
This means a whole day of Freeflow travel will now cost you the same (if not less) than purchasing an adult return ticket to the majority of places in Oxford. Plus, the Freeflow cityzone cap is cheaper than a standard cityzone day ticket!

Cityzone EXTRA day cap
A £6 cityzone EXTRA day cap applies for all journeys made within the cityzone and cityzone EXTRA.

South Oxfordshire day cap
Travel anywhere within the South Oxfordshire Zone in a single day and your fare will automatically be capped to £7.

Go-Anywhere day cap
Travel anywhere on all local Oxford Bus Company and Thames Travel services (excluding the airline) in a single day and your fare will automatically be capped to £9.  

Selected return tickets
Return ticket capping is available on all park&ride services (300 and 400) for £3, as well as on the Science Shuttle ST1 service between Oxford and Harwell Campus for £6. On these services, you can make as many journeys as you like on a given service during a day. Your fare will cap at the normal adult return ticket price.

Freeflow is not currently suitable for:

  • Return tickets (other than those specified above)
  • Child tickets
  • Family tickets
  • Weekly tickets
  • Tickets valid for travel on other bus companies
  • Through fares from one route to another
  • SmartZone tickets*

*Currently, SmartZone day ticket cap is not yet available.  

These are still available on the bus as paper tickets and you can still pay for these using contactless payment devices or cash - just ask the driver. Please don’t tap off when you buy paper tickets.

Frequently asked questions

Is it just for adult fares?
Yes. For discounted, child or family tickets please continue to buy a paper ticket from the driver, or use the app or the key.

Does this work on all your services?
Yes, Freeflow can be used on all Oxford Bus Company and Thames Travel services.

Can I pay for two or more people?
No, you can only use your card/device for one person per journey when travelling using Freeflow. You can still continue to buy a paper ticket for multiple passengers and pay by card.

You can quickly and easily check your travel and payment history by selecting "Contactless Journeys" in the Oxford Bus Company app, or at the top of this page.

Will I get a ticket?
When you use Freeflow, you won't receive a ticket but you can check your journey history and the fares charged by selecting "Contactless Journeys" in the Oxford Bus Company app, or at the top of this page. You'll need to enter your card details to confirm it's you. If a revenue protection inspector boards the bus you will need to present the card you used to make payment for inspection.

What happens if I forget to, or can't tap off?
You will be charged the single fare to the end of the route, so always remember to tap off in order to pay the correct fare. If you do forget to tap off and are overcharged as a result, please get in touch, where you'll be able to view your journeys and request that the charge is reviewed if necessary. You'll need to enter your card details so we know it's you, but you won't be charged. Note this must be done within 90 days of travel.

Why can’t this be used by all passengers?
We are looking to develop the system further in the future to cover return tickets, child fares, other card issuers and services operated by other bus companies.