Oyster Cards

Old Oct 19th, 2005, 09:24 AM
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Oyster Cards

I've read it, but I still don't get it. I think my brain is full. Is an oyster card of any use to us?

We will be using the Tube 1/2 Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Zones 1& 2. Are single journey tickets our best bet? We really loved the convenience of having passes in the past, but it doesn't seem as if any pass will be worth it this time.

Advice appreciated.
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Old Oct 19th, 2005, 10:16 AM
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If riding more than two times a one-day TravelCard, bought at the stations, is usually cheaper than individual fares - even the carnet tickets. Oyster Cards are very easy to use - just swipe them at entrance - in theory easy to use - i've never used one and assume they work wonderfully. there is also a bus pass for the whole day for about 2 pounds that covers all of great London - maybe your tube trips could be short hops on the bus - good for those who are tube fearful. Buy these passes from machines at the bus stops. TravelCards of course can also be used on buses - even cards good only for zones 1 and 2 can be used on buses throughout greater London - was that way recently at least though things change.
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Old Oct 19th, 2005, 11:15 AM
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Before you get a Travelcard, check out the distances between your destinations on a geographical map such as

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/buses/pdfdocs/centlond.pdf


For short trips, a bus will frequently get you there sooner than the Tube because of the time spent going down to the platform and back up, plus walking and climbing from one line to another if a connection is required.

Day Passes for the buses (good for all of greater London) are £3 a day, or £11 a week.

Buses are also a nice way to see the city rather than the walls of a tunnel.
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Old Oct 19th, 2005, 12:30 PM
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I used an Oyster card during my one month stay in August. You swipe and the bar swings open. Unfortunately it doesn't work 100% of the time but then you just ask one of the security personnel to help you. The delay may cost you 2 minutes maximum because there are security personnel everywhere.
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Old Oct 19th, 2005, 01:11 PM
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They're a permanent solution, not something a tourist would or should concern themselves with.

Also, you never swipe them. The beauty of the system is that it is a magnetic card that works from about half an inch away from the reader. On the rare occasions that I use the bus, it is effective. I keep mine in a leather card holder - the plastic ones they give you free are awful.

Just buy tickets. You're on holiday this is a short-term cost.
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Old Oct 20th, 2005, 01:27 AM
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The Oyster card has a deposit on it of £3
It's fine if you often visit London, because you can top it up for a week.

I find that the reader can read the card even through the holder.
 
Old Oct 20th, 2005, 04:27 AM
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Oyster cards are really for commuters. Stick to paper tickets. You can purchase travel cards as paper tickets. There's a whole load to choose from - check on the website:

http://www.tfl.gov.uk

(by the way, what's mk2 doing with an oyster card? I didn't realise they took them in taxis?)
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Old Oct 20th, 2005, 04:55 AM
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To go back to the beginning, it all depends on what use you think you'll make of public transport, but in general single tickets are rarely the best bet - in terms of both price and convenience (needing to have the right change at the right time, queueing and so on).

Your choice really is

- first, what sort of Travelcard to get: see the options for the time you'll be here -
http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/fares-tick...card-day.shtml
You could go for a three-day card from the outset (£15 per person) or one-day tickets as you go (only worth it if you know you won't be using public transport at all on one day, or before 9.30am on any day).

Second, whether to store the value of your Travelcard on an Oyster card, which is a mechanism rather than a different sort of pass or tariff - as MK2 says, it's really a benefit to people who are here relatively long-term. So unless you know you'll be coming back a lot, why go through the (minor) hassle of paying a deposit and getting it back some time later? And even if you are coming back again, what are the chances of forgetting to bring the Oystercard with you?

If it were me, the maximum flexibility would be the three-day card, which equates to 7 or 8 single journeys on the Tube or 11-12 single journeys on the bus. Up to you whether or not you'll make that much use of them.
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Old Oct 20th, 2005, 07:19 AM
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OK, I understand the Oyster Card is not for us.

Is a 3 day pass really worth it when we would use only 2 1/2 days of it and the half day is a Sunday?

The South Kensington tube stop is our "home." Two planned trips are to Tower Hill (for the Ceremony of the Keys) and to Waterloo Station (to catch the train to Hampton Court--this is a day I think we'd like to use the tube prior to 9:30). We may have a few other trips, but not so many. We are planning for one day to be the museums near South Kensington.

A carnet is 10 tickets, correct? Is each tube ride then one ticket per person (assuming Zone 1&2)?

Thanks for the bus suggestions. However, I am bus-phobic rather than tube-phobic. We mastered the tube system last time, buses remain a mystery!!
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Old Oct 20th, 2005, 10:15 AM
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Unlike on the Paris Metro carnets in London give a tiny discount over buying individual tickets, and unlike metro tickets from carnets which i've used years later, London carnets are good only for a limited time - perhaps a year. It's hard not to realize the benefit of some kind of TravelCard for most plans.
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Old Oct 20th, 2005, 10:23 AM
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The London bus network is no more intimidating than the Tube if you leave out the part that the vast majority of visitors never uses. You can navigate to all the sights with one simple schematic that fits on a single sheet of typewriter paper. Download this and print it out, and I think you'll agree:

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/pdfdocs/tourist.pdf
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Old Oct 20th, 2005, 11:43 AM
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Effective in January, single cash fares in zone 1 (central London) will be going up to £3 per ride (outrageous). They have also announced the one day travelcards will be going up 4%. since the off peak one day card for zones 1 & 2 today are £4.70 with rounding etc. figure £5 for a one day travelcard off peak (after 0930 weekdays)...the math is obvious, if you're going to be using the tube twice in a day you will probably want a one day travelcard.

7 day travelcards are no longer, for the most part, available as paper tickets, they have to be bought on oyster. If you don't want to have to queue up every morning at 0930 to buy a travelcard, you can get prepaid on oyster which will in effect cap at travelcard rates. Also prepaid fares on oyster for a trip in zone 1 will be £1.50 50% less than cash fares for a zone 1 trip...

They want people to convert to oyster. Now whether a visitor to London should use Oyster, well one has to wait for the entire list of new fares to come out. My m.o. in London, and I visit there 3 or 4 times a year as I have friends who live there, has always been for stays of 4 days or more to buy a 7 day zone 1 ticket...5 days is clearly better than one day travelcards 4 days is sort of marginal but I avoid the queues at 0930 weekdays to buy my daily travelcard. Stays of less than 4 days have been one day travelcards.

I am pretty sure I will now go the oyster direction...the £3 deposit is really no big deal as I can get it back. So on arrival at Heathrow my next trip I will purchase a 7 day travlecard on oyster and a prepaid account to cover the extensions into central London and back from central London. I will hold on to it and will probably not miss the £3 deposit.

But I am sure tfl has built into their new fares the idea that many people will not do their homework, will pay the £3 one way fares twice a day (Can you imagine £6 or $10.80 US for a return trip on the tube, highway robbery we would say in America)..

It will require quite a bit of homework on everybody's part to get all this straught, conflicting things more is the fact that paper (actually cardboard) 7 day travelcards will still be available from national railway statons (say at Gatwick???) or so say some of the posters on the board who live in London.

But I will have to wait for the Fares 2006 booklet to come out to see if my conjectures are all correct as my trip will be the second week in January. But thngs are really changing and it is to everybody's advantage to go to the tfl website when all the new fares are posted and get it right as mistakes will become very expensive.
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