16/05/2022 at 10:09 #3828tonytheponyParticipant
I frequently make the journey between Canary Wharf and Maidenhead and I’ve noticed that out of station interchange (OSI) can cause an evening trip to be much more expensive.
Consider this journey (using contactless).
Canary Wharf (Zone 2) to Paddington (Zone 1) departing 1830 – an off peak fare (£2.60 currently).
Paddington to Maidenhead, departing 1906 – an off peak fare (£7.00 currently).
However, Paddington underground to TFL rail has OSI, so the journey is considered as one fare, and because it begins at peak time (pre 1900), it is charged at the full peak rate (£3.20 + £12.70 = £15.90).
This seems pretty unfair – given both trips are off peak. I challenged it, but was told “that is the fare per the website”, which it is.
It occurred to me that it would be easy to avoid the OSI by using 2 different cards for the journey. Do the terms of travel mandate I “take advantage of” OSI when it’s offered, or is it OK to personally consider the journey as 2 trips, and ensure its charged accordingly?16/05/2022 at 15:36 #3829MikeModerator
It is frustrating when this happens. Most of the time it is worthwhile, but there are edge cases where it goes ‘wrong’. The good news is that you are free to use two cards if you want. You obviously lose the capping ability, but if you are just making one journey then it’s fine.
Other strategies that you can use are available. You can break the OSI by waiting 40 minutes at Paddington between touch out from the Underground and touch in on National Rail. You can also touch in on a bus and then get straight off. This costs £1.65 but avoids the wait.
You could also split at Ealing Broadway instead of Paddington which would be £3.60 peak plus £5.50 off-peak. You’d need to exit the station after getting off the Central Line and go straight back in. This one will also work when through Elizabeth line trains start running later in the year.
Hope this helps.17/05/2022 at 08:31 #3830tonytheponyParticipant
I suppose I do benefit from this the other way – if I touch in before 0630 in Maidenhead I can get all the way to Canary Wharf off-peak, even though I’m taking peak time underground services.
Since this is my frequent commute the 2-card method is probably optimal as it allows me to get straight on a GWR fast service at Paddington. Interesting to know the other methods though!
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