Say I buy an underground ticket with contactless payment for myself and my partner. Do both purchases count towards the cap?
Or is this not allowed?
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If you try and use the contactless Oyster twice in a row (ie to let a second person through on your card) for a trip from A to B, it'll error. You're required to touch out first before you can touch in again, and then the first person wouldn't be allowed to travel as they've touched out at A.
Source: TFL official site:
Number of people using an Oyster card
Only one Oyster card can be used per person per journey. That means if you are travelling in a group, each person will have to use a separate Oyster card, or find another way to pay for their journey.
Second Source: I've tried this. And asked about it at the time. You need one card for each travelling passenger.
Third source : tripadvisor thread on this same topic
Note: This is for Oyster cards, the primary TFL cards when I was in London. For other recent contactless cards, you'll need to see the TFL site on these here.
To add on to @MarkMayo's answer, the same rules apply for payment across all contactless methods (Oyster and Contactless-card): you can pay for only one person per journey with contactless methods. Quoting from TFL's website on the topic:
Touching in and out
Like Oyster, you can only pay for one person per journey with a contactless payment card. If you are travelling in a group, each person will need a separate contactless payment card or other method of payment.
You can however lend your oyster card to another person, provided only one person uses it for one journey, if you meet certain conditions (quoted from TFL's website on the topic):
Lending your Oyster card to others
If your Oyster card only has adult rate pay as you go credit on it, you can lend it to someone else, even if the card is registered in your name.
An Oyster card can't be used by anyone other than the registered user if it has one of the following on it:
- Travelcard or Bus & Tram Pass season ticket
- Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount
- Bus & Tram discount
- National Railcard discount