There are just 25 and a bit days to go until the OEP is consigned to history. Most of those who have heard about them will rejoice that they can finally use their travelcard enabled Oyster properly again, just like they used to before January 2010. But, it seems, there are a small number of people who will actually miss them. They are players of an online game called Chromaroma which makes use of your online journey history and awards points for visiting stations. Now this game would not be much fun if you had to pay to make journeys to stations, so it is aimed at the commuters who have travelcards stored on their Oyster card. However, once you store a travelcard on your Oyster the online journey history stops recording details of touch ins and outs at stations within your zones. But, enable the dreaded OEP and lo and behold, journey history starts working again.
I have to thank Chairman Pip for alerting me to this issue. As much as I hate OEPs because of the way South Eastern have exploited their obscurity to make a fast buck with penalty fares, I don’t want to spoil the fun of commuters who are just trying to brighten up their daily struggle to work. I wonder whether TfL could be persuaded to leave the facility to set and unset them at ticket machines while still abolishing the requirement to set them before travelling outside of your zones. Alternatively, and probably an even better solution, could they make the online journey history display touches within the zones? The data is collected, after all, as anyone who has requested a journey statement by email will be well aware.