Auto Topup – Faster Payment Delayed

I’ve now had confirmation from TfL that the payment changes to auto topup have been postponed until next year.  So all that’s currently happened is the raising of the threshold to £20.  I’d still recommend always ensuring that you have plenty of funds available on the linked bank card and make sure the emails from … Read more

New Fares for 2020

In amongst all the election stuff and other sensational news stories, the Mayor released his decision on fares for next year.  It’s pretty much as expected – bus, tube, dlr, most London Overground, most TfL Rail and National Rail inter-available single fares all frozen for the 4th year.  Other National Rail fares and caps/travelcards all … Read more

Changes to Auto Topup

Anyone using auto topup on an Oyster (or zip) card will have received an email yesterday.  The key points are: From Sunday 17 November 2019, the Auto Top-up threshold will change to £20. From this date, your Oyster card will be topped up with your chosen value when your balance falls below £20. You will … Read more

PAYG to Reading – What is Accepted

The press release from TfL outlining the extension of PAYG to Reading from Jan 2nd 2020 certainly raised a number of questions and talking points. I’m not going to cover discussion about zones and Oyster here, but rather concentrate on the cards which will and won’t be accepted. Nothing changes between London and West Drayton, so this list solely applies to people using stations between Iver and Reading inclusive, and only on TfL Rail services.

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Tap, Tap, Fly, from Luton Airport

Tuesday saw the launch of contactless payment at St Albans City, Harpenden and Luton Airport Parkway on the Thameslink route. Note that it is not accepted at Luton or beyond. With contactless payment already accepted on the shuttle bus from Parkway to the Airport* it means that Luton becomes the 4th airport accessible from Central … Read more

TfL Rail to Reading – No Oyster

Yesterday TfL announced their initial plans following takeover of the GWR suburban services between Paddington and Reading on December 15th.  In contrast to any other TfL takeover, neither Oyster nor contactless will be available on day 1.  To ensure a smooth introduction, contactless PAYG will be introduced from January 2nd 2020.

The big news though is that Oyster PAYG will NOT be valid between West Drayton and Reading.  This means that adults with railcards, 11-15 and 16+ zip card holders will not be able to make use of PAYG.  And holders of Apprentice, 18+ Student and Jobcentre Oyster cards will not be able to seamlessly transition between using a travelcard stored on the card to PAYG.  On the plus side, under 11s accompanied by adults will be able to travel free, but only on the TfL Rail services.

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Radlett, Potters Bar & Brookmans Park

Last Thursday, 29th August, PAYG was extended to Radlett, Potters Bar and Brookmans Park.  Both Oyster and contactless are accepted at the first two, while Brookmans Park is the pilot for a new breed of stations accepting contactless only.  The official launch took place at Radlett in the morning with the local MP, the new transport secretary and other GTR senior staff.  More detail about fares follows, but first some quotes on the day:

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Fare Finder Changes

Yesterday GTR launched new PAYG stations at Radlett, Potters Bar and Brookmans Park.  While the first two accept both contactless and Oyster PAYG, Brookmans Park is the first contactless only station.  It was clearly necessary for my fare finder to indicate this for any journey to/from Brookmans Park, so some coding changes were rapidly required.  … Read more

Contactless might cost more than Oyster

We’ve all heard the annoying announcements at tube stations. Why not use contactless? The fares are the same as Oyster and there’s no need to top up. In fact, as described elsewhere on this site, contactless can often be cheaper than Oyster thanks to the way it compares all combinations of caps and extension fares. However, TfL have unwittingly introduced an issue which means that sometimes contactless may cost more than Oyster.

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