diamond geezer

 Monday, November 20, 2006

Oyster - always touch in and touch out (OR ELSE!)

As of yesterday, if you travel on the tube using a pay-as-you-go Oyster card and fail to touch in or touch out, you'll now be charged a "maximum cash fare". To assist you in understanding the new penalty system, Transport for London have helpfully provided a detailed online FAQ explaining all the changes. It's only 2600 words long, and is therefore easily assimilated by any Londoner. Come on, this is important, because if you don't know these rules inside out you might end up paying extra for your ignorance. Just in case you can't spare the time to read the full rules in depth, allow me to present my own simplified Oyster FAQ below:

Q: How much is the new "maximum cash fare"?
A: It's £4 per journey. Which is a bit sneaky, because the maximum Oyster fare for the longest possible Zone 1-6 journey is only £3.50.

Q: Is it always £4?
A: No, it's £5 if you're using National Rail from certain mainline stations (Blackfriars, City Thameslink, Elephant & Castle, Euston, Fenchurch Street, Liverpool Street, London Bridge and Marylebone). Apparently £5 is the "average fare" from these stations, so you deserve to be charged more. Here's a map showing the (not many) National Rail routes where use of Oyster is permitted.

Q: Surely this "maximum penalty fare" only affects miscreants and barrier jumpers?
A: Not at all. Life would be simple if all Oyster journeys started and finished at a ticket barrier, but they don't. Exit the tube at Finsbury Park without swiping and you'll be fined. Start your journey on the DLR without swiping and you'll be fined. Change onto National Rail at Farringdon without swiping and you'll be fined. It's all too easy to forget, and to end up paying for your mistake.

Q: How does this new system penalise you for not touching in?
A: If you didn't touch in, then when you eventually touch out at the other end the system assumes you've made the longest possible journey (eg from Heathrow Airport) and slaps down a maximum fare Exit Charge of £4.

Q: How does the system penalise you for not touching out?
A: Every time you touch in at the start of a journey, an Entry Charge of £4 is automatically applied to your Oyster. If you don't touch out at the end of your journey, then this £4 is automatically deducted. If you do later touch out, like you're meant to, then the correct fare is charged instead.

Q: So, pay-as-you-go travellers are assumed to be "guilty until proven innocent"?
A: Yes, although the £4 Entry Charge is never actually deducted while you're travelling, so you can have less than £4 pay-as-you-go and still be able to travel.

Q: How does the system know that I haven't touched out?
A: You're allowed up to two hours to complete your journey, but take any longer and a penalty fare applies. Even a tube journey from Epping to Chesham on a Sunday evening allegedly only takes 1 hour 58 minutes, so anybody taking longer than two hours is clearly a criminal.

Q: What if my journey is delayed?
A: If your journey exceeds two hours because of service disruption, you should seek assistance from a helpful member of staff or call the Oyster helpline. Calls cost only 3½p per minute, unless you're calling from your mobile (which, given the circumstances, you probably will be).

Q: And what if I don't touch in and I don't touch out? Do I get to travel for free?
A: Yes, you do. Unless an inspector catches you along the way, in which case you'll be charged £4. Or maybe prosecuted.

Q: Is it ever cheaper not to touch out?
A: Yes, but only for Metropolitan line passengers travelling beyond Rickmansworth. For example, if you travel from Baker Street to Chorleywood and exit through the car park on the westbound platform, then you'll pay a fare of £4.50 if you touch out but a penalty of only £4 if you don't.

Q: Are there any special rules about Wimbledon station?
A: Funny you should ask. Yes, Wimbledon is an Oyster-user's tram/train/tube charging nightmare. Please read this scarily complicated list of extra instructions.

Q: I have a season ticket on my Oyster card, not pay-as-you-go, so I'm OK aren't I?
A: Not if you venture outside your paid-for zones. If you touch in at a station outside your chosen zones but fail to touch in later, then you'll be charged an extension fare of either £1 or £1.50. But if you touch in at a station inside your chosen zones and later fail to touch out at a station outside your chosen zones, then the system won't notice and you won't be charged extra.

Q: What if there's major disruption and I get turfed off my usual tube route onto a bus?
A: In these circumstances you shouldn't touch out when leaving the station, but you must touch in on the bus, but only if you've been told that buses are accepting tube tickets, otherwise you might be overcharged. Simple.

Q: What if there's an accident or something and I get carted off the tube network on a stretcher without touching out?
A: No problem, they'll refund your £4 Entry charge later, so long as you don't go catching a bus before you get back on the tube again in which case the £4 won't have been refunded yet and you might be refused entry until you top your card up again. Honest.

Q: The Oyster system is full of over-complex badly thought-out inconsistencies, isn't it?
A: Yes, but please try not to mention them because it frightens people.

Q: So, to summarise, please?
A: Expect to be charged £4 at the start of your journey for not touching out, or £4 at the end of your journey for not touching in.

Q: I am new to London and my English it is poor. Can you please be explaining these rule again?
A: No, sorry. Just pay up.

Q: I don't understand what an Oyster card is.
A: My apologies for wasting your time.


<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>


click to return to the main page


...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
life viewed from london e3

email    twitter    G+

my flickr photostream

twenty blogs
853
arseblog
ian visits
londonist
scaryduck
blue witch
the great wen
onionbagblog
edith's streets
spitalfields life
linkmachinego
tired of london
in the aquarium
round the island
christopher fowler
thamesfacingeast
one bus at a time
ruth's coastal walk
london reconnections
uk general election 2015

read the archive
Aug14  Jul14  Jun14  May14
Apr14  Mar14  Feb14  Jan14
Dec13  Nov13  Oct13  Sep13
Aug13  Jul13  Jun13  May13
Apr13  Mar13  Feb13  Jan13
Dec12  Nov12  Oct12  Sep12
Aug12  Jul12  Jun12  May12
Apr12  Mar12  Feb12  Jan12
Dec11  Nov11  Oct11  Sep11
Aug11  Jul11  Jun11  May11
Apr11  Mar11  Feb11  Jan11
Dec10  Nov10  Oct10  Sep10
Aug10  Jul10  Jun10  May10
Apr10  Mar10  Feb10  Jan10
Dec09  Nov09  Oct09  Sep09
Aug09  Jul09  Jun09  May09
Apr09  Mar09  Feb09  Jan09
Dec08  Nov08  Oct08  Sep08
Aug08  Jul08  Jun08  May08
Apr08  Mar08  Feb08  Jan08
Dec07  Nov07  Oct07  Sep07
Aug07  Jul07  Jun07  May07
Apr07  Mar07  Feb07  Jan07
Dec06  Nov06  Oct06  Sep06
Aug06  Jul06  Jun06  May06
Apr06  Mar06  Feb06  Jan06
Dec05  Nov05  Oct05  Sep05
Aug05  Jul05  Jun05  May05
Apr05  Mar05  Feb05  Jan05
Dec04  Nov04  Oct04  Sep04
Aug04  Jul04  Jun04  May04
Apr04  Mar04  Feb04  Jan04
Dec03  Nov03  Oct03  Sep03
Aug03  Jul03  Jun03  May03
Apr03  Mar03  Feb03  Jan03
Dec02  Nov02  Oct02  Sep02
back to main page

diamond geezer 2013 index
diamond geezer 2012 index
diamond geezer 2011 index
diamond geezer 2010 index
diamond geezer 2009 index
diamond geezer 2008 index
diamond geezer 2007 index
diamond geezer 2006 index
diamond geezer 2005 index
diamond geezer 2004 index
diamond geezer 2003 index
diamond geezer 2002 index

my special London features
a-z of london museums
E3 - local history month
greenwich meridian (N)
greenwich meridian (S)
the real eastenders
london's lost rivers
olympic park 2007
great british roads
oranges & lemons
random boroughs
bow road station
high street 2012
river westbourne
trafalgar square
capital numbers
east london line
lea valley walk
olympics 2005
regent's canal
square routes
silver jubilee
cube routes
metro-land
capital ring
river fleet
piccadilly
bakerloo

ten of my favourite posts
the seven ages of blog
my new Z470xi mobile
five equations of blog
the dome of doom
chemical attraction
quality & risk
london 2102
single life
boredom
april fool

ten sets of lovely photos
my "most interesting" photos
london 2012 olympic zone
harris and the hebrides
betjeman's metro-land
marking the meridian
tracing the river fleet
london's lost rivers
inside the gherkin
seven sisters
iceland

just surfed in?
here's where to find...
diamond geezers
flash mob #1  #2  #3  #4
ben schott's miscellany
london underground
watch with mother
cigarette warnings
digital time delay
wheelie suitcases
war of the worlds
transit of venus
top of the pops
old buckenham
ladybird books
acorn antiques
digital watches
outer hebrides
olympics 2012
school dinners
pet shop boys
west wycombe
bletchley park
george orwell
big breakfast
clapton pond
san francisco
thunderbirds
routemaster
children's tv
east enders
trunk roads
amsterdam
little britain
credit cards
jury service
big brother
jubilee line
number 1s
titan arum
typewriters
doctor who
coronation
comments
blue peter
matchgirls
hurricanes
buzzwords
brookside
monopoly
peter pan
starbucks
feng shui
leap year
manbags
penelope
bbc three
vision on
piccadilly
meridian
concorde
wembley
islington
ID cards
bedtime
freeview
beckton
blogads
eclipses
letraset
arsenal
sitcoms
gherkin
calories
everest
muffins
sudoku
camilla
london
ceefax
robbie
becks
dome
BBC2
paris
lotto
118
itv