Purchasing Plusbus while using PAYG


2 Feb 2021
Does anyone know if it would be possible to purhchase a Plusbus ticket for areas covered by TFL But not within London seeing as there are several places that you can use oyster / contactless to get to that have their own plusbus scheme.

Luton Airport Pkwy on Thameslink / EMR
Gatwick Airport on various GTR Services
Watford on London Overground
Reading on TFL Rail

Would a journey history with proof of tap in / out at that station be required? Or would they just refuse you altogether?

and would the same apply to the PAYG smartcard systems that exist on GTR With KeyGo Or First with Tap2Go

Any help would be appreciated!
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RailUK Forums


15 Sep 2016
The only relevant text I can find in the PlusBus terms and conditions is
PLUSBUS tickets cannot be bought on their own (except in circumstances where you already have a valid train ticket and wish to buy a PLUSBUS ticket for the origin and/or destination towns of the rail journey).

PLUSBUS day tickets can only be bought for dates on which train travel is also being made. PLUSBUS day tickets can be bought with single, day return and period return rail tickets. With period return tickets, PLUSBUS day tickets can only be bought for the date of outward and the date of return rail travel.
I will leave it to the experts to interpret what this means. In the first paragraph, there's the question of whether a completed Pay-As-You-Go journey means that you "already have a valid train ticket". In the second paragraph, there's the question of whether "single, day return and period return" is meant to be an exhaustive list, and if so does that exclude PAYG (and, irrelevantly but interestingly, does it exclude buying a PlusBus day ticket with a train season ticket)? Presumably if you buy a standard train ticket and load it onto a smartcard then it must be eligible for PlusBus, so it's not unthinkable that PAYG on a smartcard could also be eligible...

A tangential comment regarding the KeyGo Pay-As-You-Go smartcard is that as you likely saw in a recent thread, for the Brighton & Hove PlusBus area, if you use your KeyGo on an eligible train journey and then on board buses, then the bus fares for the day are capped at the PlusBus rate. So although this is not really a PlusBus ticket, the effect is essentially the same (actually better, as you pay less if you end up not taking enough buses to reach the cap), but it is only possible because the buses accept KeyGo.