The government announced on Thursday afternoon that bus drivers would stop accepting cash from next March. The move confirms a decision by Swedish health and safety authority AMV, which had been appealed to the government by bus operators Swedbus, Connex and Busslink.
The amount of cash in circulation on buses in Stockholm County increased significantly in the spring after transport company SL introduced a flat fare of 20 kronor for all public transport journeys.
The large number of robberies on the region’s buses that followed led unions to demand immediate suspension of cash handling.
The government’s decision is a compromise between unions and the bus operators. The unions had demanded an end to cash handling on January 1st. The government has moved the first day of cash-free buses to March 31st, in order to give bus companies more time to adapt.
The new centre-right majority on Stockholm County Council has decided to abolish the flat fare structure, which would anyway have reduced the amount of cash on buses.