As desperate London commuters cry out for air conditioning on hot trains, Transport For London (TfL) has announced a development of a different sort.
A new contactless payment system will go live across all London transport services on 16 September this year, meaning that the beloved Oyster Card won't be the only way to travel around the capital.
From September, commuters will be able to use contactless bank cards (or other contactless payment devices including smartphones and wearable technology) to pay their way on the Tube, overground, the DLR, the London bus network and certain National Rail services.
"As more and more people benefit from the simplicity, convenience and security that mobile contactless payments offer," said EE's Chief Marketing Officer Gerry McQuade, "it's rapidly becoming clear that the days of the physical wallet are fast becoming numbered."
The scheme is being rolled out after a successful trial run with a pilot group of around 3,000 volunteers.
Contactless payments went live on London buses in December 2012. The method brings a whole new meaning to "pay and go," as customers will no longer need to top up or buy weekly travel cards.
The daily and Monday – Sunday capping systems TfL is putting in place to support the scheme's launch will ensure that no commuter can be overcharged, or have their card stolen and abused by thieves on the network.
While Oyster cards will still operate for those who want them, for contactless users fares will be automatically calculated to ensure they are charged the lowest amount across the network – no matter how many zones they cross.
Most intriguingly, TfL will no longer charge maximum fares as fines for incomplete journeys. Instead, the rail operators will estimate where customers ended their journeys, charging them accordingly and allowing users to change the details online if they are incorrect.
According to Wired UK, there are 39 different payment scenarios the system is currently set up to understand. These will increase as more and more monthly and annual travel cards are incorporated into contactless too.
Will you be ditching your Oyster Card and become a contactless commuter? Let us know in our poll, the comment section below or our new ITProPortal Spot live chat room in the bottom left hand corner of the screen.