Zonal fares will be simplified

Yes, this was a lame attempt at an April Fool.

So, last night I spent an hour or so in The Albert pub on Victoria Street. While I was there I was joined by a press officer from TfL, whose headquarters are next door.  The conversation inevitably drifted towards the incredibly complex fare structure in the zonal area and what might be done about it.  I have to say I was quite stunned by what I learnt.

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Oyster at Swanley

Swanley will accept Oyster and contactless from Wednesday 9th March 2016.  Like Dartford it will be in zone 8 and use the fare scale.  I have added Swanley to the Oyster Fare Finder.

Oyster’s Zones Are Full

I’ve been doing quite a bit of research in an attempt to fully understand the fares for the Gatwick extension of the Oyster system.  The results are nearly ready for publication, but in the meantime I have come to the conclusion that the current Oyster system is full.  What do I mean by this?

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New Oyster Fare Finder

I am delighted to be able to launch an alternative to the TfL Single Fare Finder. It is linked at the top of the Fares Guide page, or you can access it here. Like the TfL version you enter two stations, but that’s where the similarity ends. The results page contains all the different fares … Read more

The 32% cap increase

So I received a call from TfL today which confirmed my fears about the part-time worker refunds for zones 4-6 for railcard holders.  They have been abolished.  This means that young (under 26) and disabled workers using zone 6 who last year enjoyed a cap of £5.90 if all their travel was after 0930 now … Read more

Most Expensive Oyster Journey?

You might be thinking something like Amersham to Shenfield which is £11.00 in the peak time, or perhaps you’ve remembered that Gatwick Express now uses Oyster and charges £19.80 single.  They’re both good guesses and neither can be beaten with a single paper ticket, but the Gatwick Express one is more expensive than paper if … Read more

Oyster at Gatwick

Today marks the start of the latest Oyster extension to Gatwick Airport. While there are people who will benefit, this is the most complicated extension yet, and great care will need to be taken to ensure that you aren’t overcharged.  I’ve been shown an internal briefing for Southern and Thameslink staff and some of the details of the implimentation are going to cause lots of problems.

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Part-time workers in 4-6 clobbered

When the details for the January fares increases were published there was a lot of coverage about the average increase being about 1%.  Obviously with the need to keep adult fares rounded to the nearest 10p there were always going to be some increases above that, with the zone 1 single rising 4.3% being the … Read more

Caution – Hokey-Cokey Issues

So today I’ve been out and about experimenting and encountered a problem with trying to break an OSI.  The OSI was broken alright, but the fare charged for the first leg was not what I expected to see.  I’m trying to track back through my journey history to see where I’ve tested this before but … Read more

5-10 Zip card holders with credit

From next Saturday, 2nd January 2016, holders of 5-10 zip cards will no longer need to pay for any National Rail journeys within the zones.  This is good news, but what if you already have some credit on your card.  The helpdesk can arrange a refund, but a side-effect is that the card will be cancelled.  As you need the card to benefit from the free travel that is obviously no good.  There appear to be two options available at the moment:

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