Cheapest London travel

Dec 31st, 2005, 10:20 PM
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Cheapest London travel

Yesterday’s newspaper, the Independent, reports on London fares, in the word’s most expensive transport system. Single fares are up again, and ticket carnets and family travel cards have ended. So anybody, here long-term or short, travelling much or little, should go to a corner shop or tube station and buy an Oyster electronic season ticket.. This stores value and is good for tube, busses, and I think local railways. From Heathrow to central London costs four pounds, but with Oyster card is two pounds or three pounds fifty.

Ben Haines
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ben_haines_london is offline  
Jan 1st, 2006, 02:36 AM
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Just to clarify - season tickets and passes on oyster cards are valid on suburban rail (if within the zones purchased), but pre-pay - ie the cash value stored on the card cannot be used to pay for overground train tickets.

I have no idea why not - it's just another way to annoy us.
david_west is offline  
Jan 1st, 2006, 05:57 AM
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The reason why Oyster pre-pay doesn't work for trains is because they have a completely different fare structure from the underground: the tube offers single (one-way) tickets or travelcards, whereas the railways offer a variety of tickets such as day returns.
Paper Travelcards can still be bought from railway stations, though Transport for London's outlets only do Oyster cards. These Travelcards can be used on trains, tubes, buses and trams.
GeoffHamer is offline  
Jan 1st, 2006, 06:22 AM
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I've been sort of ignoring all the talk of Oyster cards etc, over the last few months but since the normal paper tickets/passes have ended I need to pay attention. And except for the journey planner, TFL's website is more trouble than it is worth.

Does someone only stopping in London for a couple of days needs to buy an Oyster? And about the paper tickets bought at rail stations GeoffHamer mentions - are they the type of paper cards like used to be sold at tube stations?

If I am understanding things - a very short time visitor, say arriving at LGW, could travel into Victoria, and buy a paper ticket that is good on the tube/buses and not have to deal w/ an Oyster?

Or does it make any sense to get a paper ticket - is an Oyster best even for a very short visit?

Lordy - it seems KenL is trying to force all the tourists into cabs.
janisj is online now  
Jan 1st, 2006, 06:52 AM
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New fares from 2 January 2006:

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/fares-tickets/2006/downloads/tfl-fares-2006.pdf

One-, three- and seven-day Travelcards will still be available. A 2-zone adult peak period card costs £6.20, £15.40, or £22.20, respectively.
Robespierre is offline  
Jan 1st, 2006, 07:32 AM
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I think the article in question is a tad mischevious.
Personally all I think TFL are guilty of is making their products so complicated, few understand them.

Its not expensive if you're a child (all people under 16 go free on the buses and any day Travelcard is just one pound for a child)

7 Day Travelcards you cannot purchase a single product, you have to buy it on an Oyster Card.
Oyster Cards are a pain for overseas visitors and probably not worth it. You have to pay a refundable 3 GBP deposit on each card. At the end of the trip you have to hand in the card and fill in a form for a refund on your card. You don't get any money then, they send a sterling cheque at a later date to your home address for the money owed.

Family cards have been replaced by 3 day cards.

Remember if you buy a Travelcard on zones 1-2 you can also use it on the buses out to zone 6 if you want.

A 1 day bus pass at 3.60 in the central zone although more expensive than 2005 is still great value.


handfordr is offline  
Jan 1st, 2006, 07:46 AM
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Robespierre: One-, three- and seven-day Travelcards will still be available

Not according to Ken's self-serving blurb at the top of the TFL pdf you provided. It mentions 1 and 3-day travelcards but only 7-day bus passes.

handfordr: Thanks - that clears things up a bit. Having an Oyster won't be a problem for me since I will always be able to use it on later trips. But I give talks about travel to the UK and need to understand this so I can explain it clearly (?)

A £ cheque refund would be of no use to a visitor since it would cost more to cash than it's worth. Maybe that is an extra revenue stream for TFL -- all the unredeemed oyster refunds.
janisj is online now  
Jan 1st, 2006, 07:53 AM
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and -- needing 31 pages just to explain the fare structure? Sheesh . . . .
janisj is online now  
Jan 1st, 2006, 08:02 AM
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To clarify there is a 7 day Travelcard but you cannot buy it 'over the counter' like 1 and 3 day cards. You have to purchase an Oyster Card and load it onto the Oyster Card.
7 Day Travelcards are exactly like season tickets for month, year etc.

With regards the Oyster Card the key concept to remember is that it is like an electronic wallet. You either fill it up with cash amounts which can be automated to be debited direct from your bank acount or load it with set products like Travelcards and season tickets.

The net effect is that for most visitors there transport options are much more expensive than locals who will use the Oyster fares that are much cheaper. In my opinion its a clever ploy by our Ken to impose a stealth 'Tourist Tax' without anybody noticing.

If you're a UK visitor its also worth noting that Oyster Cards are transferable, so companies can have a shared Oyster Card they can 'lend' to employess visting London - also saves on expense claims
handfordr is offline  
Jan 1st, 2006, 08:17 AM
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Boy has it become complicated...I don't think there is a big effect on the 1 day travelcards...with a £3 single fare charge, it is obviously much to one's advantage to buy 1 day travelcards but the 0930 restriction on weekdays in a pain in the petuna.

I usually visit London 3 or 4 times a year...I have friends there and do like to travel and any trip to Europe usually puts me into London. My m.o. for years and my philosophy has always been for trips of 4 days or more, 7 day zone 1 travelcard...4 single days might have been a tad cheaper (I hardly ever venture out of zone 1) but I found queues start forming on weekdays around 0930 and I save time and money with the 7 day card.

Having said that, apparently from reading through the "simple" brochure available on tfl website, there will no longer be 7 day zone 1 cards available and all 7 day cards purchased at London tube statons will be on oyster....the 3 quid deposit doesn't annoy me too much as I usually travel several times there, the loss of the zone 1 will be costly for the next to useless (at least for me) zone 2...plus as I understand it I have to put some money on a prepaid account for the extension ticket to Heathrow.

I'm coming in via surface on 13 January and leaving 18 January so I suppose, and please if somebody knows better and can interpret the brochure better than I can, I will have to buy a 7 day zone 1 & 2 on Oyster (£22) plus a prepaid for one extension trip to Heathrow (£2.20?) plus the £3 deposit...ouch.

But am I missing anything? All help from London residents will be appreciated.
xyz123 is offline  
Jan 1st, 2006, 08:23 AM
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Handfordr...

A 3 quid single is outrageous...we all know it. And I agree with you...Ken the Red is simply adopting what has been done in America for years...in many tourist localities in the US (Orlando) there are very heavy taxes on things such as car rentals, hotel rooms which visitors pay and locals don't...all to build up the local economny and keep taxes down for locals.

And of course they count on tourists coming in and being ignorant and I see that all the time at the booking offices on the tube, especially with people whose English is limited. I once saw a clerk try to sell visitors from the Orient a one day travelcard instead of the singles they wanted and he could not make them understand how much cheaper it would be to buy a family travelcard.

At least we Americans have no excuse...after all we do speak the same language like it or not. And the material is available.

But I give Ken the Red his marks for this ploy.
xyz123 is offline  
Jan 1st, 2006, 08:26 AM
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My post should have read "It mentions printed paper 1 and 3-day travelcards but only 7-day bus passes."

I think I've got it - there is still a 7-day travel card, but only on Oyster. And paper cards are still available for one and 3-day travel cards and single journeys. But they cost more. Right so far??
janisj is online now  
Jan 1st, 2006, 08:34 AM
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janisi...

You've basically gotten it...I think...but youcan also get 1 day cards say on an oyster...the way it works from my reading is it caps out at the 1 day travelcard rate so if you put an amount on prepaid on oyster, and correct me if I'm wrong, and use it once during a day after 0930 you get charged the singe oyster fare (which is listed and is far less than £3) use it several times and once you hit the price of a 1 day travelcard, that's it. Saves you trouble of going to the booking office every morning at 0930.

The big loss, at least to me as I stated above, is the loss of the zone 1 7 day travelcard.
xyz123 is offline  
Jan 1st, 2006, 09:23 AM
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You can still get overseas 7 day Visitors Travelcards.

A 7 day zone 1-6 Travelcard purchased on-line is 39.50. They charge 5.95 to deliver worldwide.
In $US asking price is $78 including delivery, (too lazy to work out if thats a fair exchange rate)
handfordr is offline  
Jan 1st, 2006, 09:40 AM
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It is very doubtful you will ever need a zone 1-6 travelcard for 7 days unless you are staying out by the airport....if you are tubing in from the airport you buy a zone 1 &2 and get extension tickets for the soujourn through zones 3-6 besides which if indeed $5.95 is the delivery charge, it eats up the savings from having to buy the card in London with the 3 quid deposit on oyster.

In the past, I never thought it necessary to buy the visitor's cards because as I noted they never offered a zone 1 only and you paid the same for zones 1 & 2 as you would in London' to me it was just one more thing to forget in packing.

The extensions on Oyster are much cheaper than the paper extensions with the visitor's card.

It still seems oyster might be the way to go....
xyz123 is offline  
Jan 1st, 2006, 09:55 AM
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Yes, I've always thought Overseas Travelcards are a bit of a con aimed at the innocent visitors.
But to some they now seem to be a viable alternative.

i.e. 7 day Zone 1-6 Overseas Travelcard at 39.50 against 7 days Oyster Card Zone 1-2 with a daily cap of 5.70 equals 38.50.
or 7 days off-peak Oyster Card Zone 1-2 cap with daily cap of 4.40 equals 31.50.

With the pro and cons of delivery charges, deposits etc I guess there is a market for all 3 options, especially if your itinerary includes Hampton Court,Windsor etc.

Only wish they could present this info so people could make an informed choice.
handfordr is offline  
Jan 1st, 2006, 10:21 AM
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7 day oyster card zones 1 & 2, no capping necessary £22.....plus £3 deposit.

One extension to Heathrow (zones 3-6) oyster between 7 AM and 7 PM...£1.80; at other times £1.

Extension to Heathrow cash with a paper zone 1 & 2 visitor's...£3.

Somehow oyster seems to win out.
xyz123 is offline  
Jan 1st, 2006, 10:26 AM
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I think you're confusing the 7 day travelcard (now on Oyster) with 7 1 day travelcards...a big big difference. The 7 day card is £22 for zones 1 & 2...I suspect the charge for the 7 day visitor's card for zones 1 & 2 is pretty much the same.
xyz123 is offline  
Jan 1st, 2006, 10:31 AM
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xyz - bit bewildered by the 'no capping necessary' requirement of yours.
Are you only making 1-2 journeys a day ?
I think I've missed something here.

The Overseas 7 day Travelcard is at the price stated.
handfordr is offline  
Jan 1st, 2006, 10:34 AM
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No, you have missed the fact that in London one can buy an unlimited 7 day travelcard good for 7 days of travel unlimited in zones 1 & 2 (or any combination of zones you want)...your figures dealt with buying 7 one day travelcards (£4.40 for none prime)....the 7 day card bought in London functions exactly the same as the overseas zone 1 & 2 7 day card, I think they are comparably priced. My point was it is very rare that one needs a zone 1-6 travelcard unless the hotel or loding they are staying at is out near the airport.
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