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.
I made a return trip to Gatwick yesterday to see my son off on a plane. Obviously I didn’t want to line GTR’s pockets (or the DfT) more than I had to so I touched out and back in at East Croydon each way while changing trains. On the way back I noticed a poster advertising Oyster/contactless at Gatwick.
As if the inconsistencies with pricing along the line between Merstham and Gatwick Airport weren’t already bad enough, it looks like TfL have completely ripped up the rule book with regard to contactless capping once you venture south from zone 6 at Coulsdon South. This means that since May 16th some part-time commuters have seen their daily fares rise by 27%, without any warning at all.
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
Time for another update on my personal adventures. On Monday evening I decided to visit some of the new Overground lines and stations in North East London. I also took along my son with his zip card for company. Everything worked fine on the night, but examining my history the next day has highlighted a couple of missing touches,
On Saturday afternoon I went walking around the City in search of book benches with my son. When we had finished we made our way to the north bank entrance to Blackfriars and only then did we realise that FCC trains weren’t serving London Bridge this weekend. The advertised diversion via Elephant and Castle seemed a bit of a detour so we decided to walk a bit more by crossing the river through Blackfriars, along to Southwark and through there to Waterloo East. This gave me a chance to check out a report that walking through Southwark is always free.
My participation in the contactless pilot has been severely hampered since the end of May. First my bank decided to issue new cards which meant that I had to go through the process of registering a new card number for the pilot. Then I managed to lose the other card linked to the same account so they had to cancel everything again, even though I still had the card I was using for contactless travel. Interestingly though, when TfL came to charge the amount for travel that day,
I’ve decided to stop talking about journeys which have no issues as they are becoming more common. The bottom line is that contactless works, apart from one issue that I’ll come to later on. I’ll still be testing edge conditions, sometimes inadvertantly, and these I’ll document on here.
So, the big test this week was exceeding the maximum journey time.
Oh dear, I seem to have got behind updating this. The good news is that there aren’t any show-stopping problems so far. Comments are always welcome and will be fed back to TfL if relevant. It’s now getting more exciting as I’ve been asked to download an app and record details of my experiences as I travel. The app has loaded and I’ve set it up, so I’m ready to go. But first, the last few days …
Monday was the last day of the Easter holidays so I went to North Greenwich with one of my sons. I managed to test more features of the contactless operation, including inadvertantly missing a touch during one of the journeys. I remain very happy with how it’s progressing so far.