Touching pink readers

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  • #4746

    Normally, you would touch a pink reader if your journey does not go through Zone 1. However, if you did choose to touch one when you do go through Zone 1, it wouldn’t make any difference right?

    Also if you start/end in Zone 1, would the pink reader just show a red light?

    Colin Newman

    What wouldn’t it make any difference to? If you touch in/out in zone 1 then a pink swipe would achieve nothing, but of you swipe pink and then go on to travel through zone 1 and out again without swiping, I think you’d be charged the lower fare.


    I was saying there, if you choose to touch a pink reader when going through Zone 1, it would make no difference to the fare for that journey. Is that true?


    There are some situations where it can make a difference.

    Take Wimbledon to Whitechapel. If you go direct through zone 1 using the District Line it’s 3.70 peak, 3.00 off peak. However if you go Wimbledon – Clapham Jn – West Brompton – Whitechapel and touch the pink reader at Clapham Jn it will be 3.20 peak and 2.80 off peak but you’re still going through Zone 1. If you don’t touch the pink reader at Clapham Jn it will be 3.70/3.00 as before.

    • This reply was modified 6 months ago by Simon.

    Hi Duncan,

    If you touch a pink reader and there is a fare defined between your origin and destination using that pink reader then you will be charged the defined fare. If there is no fare defined then you will be charged the appropriate fare for that journey taking into consideration any other interchanges you have used.

    The Oyster system can’t tell what you are going to do in advance so a red light if you end in zone 1 could never happen. Besides, there are a few instances where a pink reader can make a small difference to a journey with one end in zone 1 (eg Brockley to Farringdon).

    As alluded to by Colin and Simon, there are a few cases where it’s possible to use a pink reader and still travel via zone 1 without paying extra. This is not a topic that I want to discuss on here because it’s not within the spirit of the rules for using the Oyster system. In many cases the walking required to touch a pink reader if trying to get back on the same train makes the effort too much for the gain.

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