Posts Tagged ‘tube’

London — By Andrea Kirkby on January 1, 2010 at 5:38 am
Filed under: featuredarticle, london buses, London Underground, public transport, tube

Fares up, but more Oyster lines

The New Year will bring a few changes for public transport in London. As usual, it’s an UNhappy New Year for frequent travellers with fare rises coming in. But there’s also a change for Oyster card users, who will be able to use their cards on many more routes.

tube-sign

Single bus and tram fares will be rising by 20%, while some tube fares will be up by 18% – although the average tube fare is only up by 3.9%.  It’s journeys in the outer zones that look set to increase the most, which will please tourists staying centrally, but makes life even more difficult for those who have to commute into central London, but can’t afford to live there. Oh yes, all the rises affect Oyster users – although non-Oyster users pay far more, their fares haven’t risen this year.

For ready reference:

central London tube journey – £4 (£1.80 with Oyster)

central London bus journey – £2 (£1.20 with Oyster)

Look at these increases in the light of an inflation rate that is less than 2%, and fears of deflation in the economy, and you wonder what justifies them. Of course, mayor Boris Johnson argues that he has to fund investments such as Crossrail – even so, some of these increases look swingeing.

Ken Livingstone certainly doesn’t like what he sees – and as he is a former Mayor who tried hard to reduce fares, I think what he has to say is worth reading.

Now for the better news. From 2nd January, Oyster cards will be accepted on all main line railway services within the capital. That’s a huge improvement. I remember a couple of years ago being based in Denmark Hill for a week while I was working at the CAMRA Great British Beer Festival – every morning started with a queue for the ticket office, as I couldn’t use my Oyster for this part of the journey. Now, I’d just be able to swan through the ticket gates with my trusty Oyster card.

Mind you, I don’t know whether it would actually save me any money… as the charging mechanisms for Oyster outside the tube and buses are different.

Remember, if you’re visiting London, that it’s worth getting an Oyster even if you’re only making a couple of journeys. You pay a £3 deposit, but you can get that back if you return the card to a ticket office before you go. The single tube fare in central London is now £4, but your Oystercard won’t charge you more than £7.20 in a day no matter how often you travel. So your Oyster has saved you money as soon as you get on the tube for the second time in a day!

Photo by Gerard McGovern on flickr


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