Oyster Cards / Travelcards, London

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  • Travelcard - Shows zones and dates
    Travelcard - Shows zones and dates
    by Herkbert
  • Oyster Cards / Travelcards
    by cjg1
  • Oyster Cards / Travelcards
    by cjg1
  • film's Profile Photo

    Cost of tickets on Buses, Tubes and Rail

    by film Updated Apr 4, 2011

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Here is the definitive guide to the cost of the tickets and travel cards for London. Though a zone 1 and 2 travel card covers the needs of most tourists, for anyone staying longer it is worth investigating cheaper options, espcially the Oyster prepayment card.

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    Tube multiday passes ("season passes")

    by gothsi Updated Apr 4, 2011

    Check out the pass that's right for you.
    Mostly you want something like a pass for zone 1-2, zone 1 is where all the sites of london are, and zone 2 might be somewhere you're staying (like me, because I'm staying with a friend).

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    The Tube Pass

    by birchy99 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    We purchased a 4 day Tube Pass before we left home. It was very convenient as we didn't have to purchase separate tickets each time we used the tube. You must buy them before entering the UK. Check out the website listed below.
    One caution, it must be validated at a station before you can use it, and not every station has a validation office. So plan ahead, otherwise you will be plunking down coins unnecessarily.

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    London Tube Passes Vs. NY Metrocards

    by shutterlust Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Mind the what?! (gosh I'm so corny!)


    Unlike NY Metro cards or single trip tickets, the London Tube requires you to keep your ticket or card the entire journey and for you to insert it again or touch it to the pad (depending on what you get) when you leave the station so they can keep track of your journey. This is because they charge for the distance that you go. NY subways charge a flat rate $2 (but I've heard the monthlies and weeklies are going up!) for however long or short your distance is. London Tube system charges when you leave zone 1 (central London) to zone 2, 3, 4, 5, etc.

    Keep your ticket.

    For short week long vacations, get a weekly pass or visitor pass. If you're here for longer, I suggest you get an Oyster card (which you'll hear the subway announcements mention a lot) This card is not paper but a durable plastic and can be "topped up" with however much you want to put on it and you get your tube and bus rides at a discount. (2 quid for a zone 1 Tube ride goes down to 1.70 quid I believe and 1.20 quid bus rides go down to 70p)

    It also won't get destroyed in your pocket or bag so you won't get stuck at a turnstile!

    Also, the subway train doesn't flush with the platform, so watch out for the gap between the platform and the train. It's sort of like the gap for the 4-5-6 at 14th street, without the automatic step.

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  • Travelcards

    by grkboiler Updated Apr 4, 2011
    Tube ticket

    There are many combinations of travel tickets you can buy as a tourist in London. Travel in London is expensive, so the best thing to do is get a travelcard. These are available in daily, weekly, or monthly increments and are sold at ticket counters and machines at tube or train stations. They allow unlimited travel on the tube, most buses, and more.

    First of all, there are different zones in London, and travel outside of zones 1 and 2 will cost more than within those zones. When buying a ticket make sure you know which zones you will be travelling through. For example, tickets for a one-way journey in zone 1 costs 2 pounds.

    A one-day travelcard is available for travel after 9:30am on Mondays through Fridays and unlimited times on weekends.

    Visitor cards are available for travel in all zones from 2-7 days, and for travel in zones 1 and 2 for 3, 4, or 7 days. For convenience, you can buy them from your home country and it will be mailed to you before your trip a week before it is valid.

    Check the website for fares and combinations of tickets and zones.

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    London Travel Card

    by CADspark Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The most economical way to travel around London is to purchase a London Travel Card.
    These can be purchased from any Tube or Main Line station in London or alternatively online prior to your visit.

    The London Travel Card will gain access to Tubes / Trains & Buses within specified zones.

    For more information please visit the link below.

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  • scaevolatn's Profile Photo

    Visitor Travelcard well worth it

    by scaevolatn Updated Apr 4, 2011
    Visitor Travelcard

    I purchased a 7-day Visitor Travelcard for Zones 1-2, for just over 20 GBP, from the London Travel Pass website. The Travelcard itself (not a voucher for a card) arrived at my home well in advance of my journey, so I stepped right off the Gatwick Express train and onto the Tube - no queues. The Travelcard carried no time restrictions during the day, either. I traveled early, late and often.

    I can't tell you how convenient it was not having to pay-as-you-go or queue up for tickets. I made over 40 Zone 1-2 journeys during my week there, which would have cost over 80 GBP without a Travelcard.

    The Vistor Travelcard also gave a 20% concession on several of the attractions I visited.

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  • pedersdottir's Profile Photo

    ATTN: Yankees, Canucks, Aussies & More

    by pedersdottir Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Handy for a week

    Read all the other Travel Card postings for useful info - then read this.
    If you are heading for London from home you can order a Travel Card or Heathrow Express Travel card online from Transport for London. The price is based on the number of days and zones you plan to travel - up to 7 days.
    The Heathrow Express fare gives you a roundtrip from the airport to the city in addition to unlimited travel in London Zones 1& 2 for a week - for 42.80 pounds. (Less, for fewer days.)
    Note : you MUST order from abroad. The card will be mailed to you at least 1 week prior to your departure.
    Imagine how simple it will be to step off the plane and onto a train that whisks you into London - with no annoying stops at the exchange desk!

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  • sweet_sentiments's Profile Photo

    Oyster is all you need

    by sweet_sentiments Written Mar 1, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    where you can add more money to your Oyster

    When we got to London the first thing we did is to buy an oyster card. We bought it from a store close to our hotel and if I can remember it right the minimum value you can put in it is GBP5. We just add more money to it as we need it.

    Oh, don't worry if you weren't able to use them all. Just go to any underground station and surrender your Oyster card and they'll give you a refund of whatever amount is still left in your Oyster card.

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  • mindcrime's Profile Photo

    How to move around

    by mindcrime Updated Feb 23, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    when it rains hop on a bus!

    London's underground is the most expensive in the world but you'll use it anyway because it can get you almost everywhere. If you make more than 3 tube trips or 4 bus trips a day then you'd better buy a travelcard – daily(cannot ride the tubes before 9 a.m or use the night buses) or weekly.

    There are six zones in the metro so you need a different ticket for each one. Most of the attractions are in the center so you will need only the 1-2 zones. Keep your ticket handy at all times, especially when entering and exiting the tube in order to get out!

    Remember that peak hours are before 9:30am Monday to Friday. There are many combinations between zones, peak hours etc so here are some exables: (prices february 2011)
    Tube single ticket: £4.00
    1Day travel card 1-2zones offpeak £6.60 peak£8.00
    1Day travel card 1-4zones offpeak £7.30 peak£10.00
    1Day travel card 1-6zones offpeak £8.00 peak£15.00
    7day travel card 1-2zones £27.80
    7day travel card 1-3zones £32.20
    7day travel card 1-6zones £50.40

    You don’t have to worry about zones if you use the buses.
    Bus single ticket: £2.20 (1.30p with Oyster card)
    1day bus pass £4.00
    7day bus pass £17.80

    Oyster Card is a new headache but it can also save you a lot of money, you have to give a deposit (£5) but can use the card in the future and just take the deposit back at the end of your trip. The only problem is that it requires some extra planning and of course that you have to pay in advance but there is a daily price cap where however much you travel in a day your total outlay never goes above this price cap(which is the same with a daily travelcard).. Check the differences with travelcard here: http://www.londontoolkit.com/briefing/travelcard_oyster.htm

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    Be very, very careful.

    by planxty Updated Jan 28, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Oyster Card, London, UK.

    I have lived in London for well over 20 years now and know my way around pretty well, so I try to answer VT forum tips on the city when I can. By far the most common question asked seems to be in relation to Oyster Cards and Travel Cards. I don't propose to go into the relative merits here, it really depends on too many factors which one will suit you best. The authorities have made ordinary tickets so prohibitively expensive that you are well advised to use one or the other. What I do want to do is alert you to a disgraceful scam being perpetrated by the transport companies.

    I use the Oster Card (pictured) which is a pre-paid credit type card you can use on the bus, tube Docklands Light Railway and certain suburban train lines. Very recently (January 2011) I read a report in a local newspaper who had obtained information under the Freedom of Information Act. It stated that last year, the transport companies overcharged passengers to the tune of a staggering £60 million ($95.4 million US). This is how it works. On a train or underground journey, you must "tap in" and "tap out" i.e. press your card on the reader at both ends of your journey. If you do not do this you will be charged maximum fare.

    Here is my personal experience from a couple of weeks ago. I went by Tube to Waterloo station to catch a train that I cannot use my Oyster on, of which more later. due to the poor signage at Waterloo (and I know the place) I tapped out and then mistakenly tapped into another line, thinking it was the way out to the overground train. I realised my mistake and the attendant let me back through the barrier, telling me to get the fare adjusted at the ticket office.

    As always, there was only one ticket office open and a large queue, and I had a train to catch so I left it until the next day until I returned to my home station where I know a few of the staff. I went to the window there and was horrified to discover they had charged my £8:80 for a £1:90 journey. It gets worse. I explained the situation and the attendant said that he could see by reading my card I was telling the truth but because my card was not registered (this is not a requirement) he could only refund half the excess, so I have been grossly overcharged for my journey.

    There is much anecdotal evidence that barriers are being deliberately left open at smaller stations in the hope that people will forget to "tap out" and generate extra penalty revenue for the operators.

    I mentioned the registration issue and suburban trains and here is another thing to bear in mind. the train I intended to catch accepts Oyster Cards but only if they are registered. I have to queue up and buy a paper ticket. I can see no legitimate reason for this as the barrier would not open if I did not have sufficient funds for the journey. Therefore, you should always check before trying to get on a train if your unregistered Oyster is valid or, you have guessed it, you will be liable to a penalty fare.

    On buses, you only have to "tap in", everywhere else, "tap in" and "tap out".

    Confused, you will be!

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    by kerrytmartin Written Nov 30, 2010

    I would definatly get an oyster card the price of fares is less (sometimes significantly) with oyster when travelling around all of greater london

    If you travel through london remember about the congestion (and parking) costs

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  • GrantBoone's Profile Photo

    Cheaper travel

    by GrantBoone Written Nov 6, 2010

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    An oyster card is a great idea if you are planning on using public transport during your stay in London.Smarter, faster and more economical than paper tickets, get an Oyster card to get the best London public transport fares.

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  • tvor's Profile Photo

    London Transport cards

    by tvor Updated Sep 2, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Travelcards are ideal. You can get them for one day and 7 days. Traveling off peak (after 9:30 a.m.) makes it cheaper. You can buy a book of 10 tickets for the tube for zone 1. Kids 15 and under can travel free on the busses, 11-15 need a photo with the Oyster card for this.

    London Transport offers visitor travel cards that you can buy online, single tickets, and 7 day travelcards which don't need a photo. They can be bought up to 90 days in advance and will be delivered to you. There doesn't seem to be a cost for mailing them from what i can tell but it's just as easy to get them when you arrive.

    Check to see how many zones you want. Most of the tourist stuff is in Zone 1-2 and the basic one day travel card covers this including DLR and busses. A six zone pass will go quite far including the commuter rail. I've used one that was good at least as far as Rayleigh in Essex or Hampton Court/Richmond. Check the London Transport website for maps and info.

    You can also get bus only passes which are much cheaper if you don't plan to take the tube, DLR or overland commuter trains. 2010 prices are £16.60 for a 7 day adult pass. Student discounts are available but i think probably only for UK schools and you need to have a student ID card. Photos are only needed now for passes for a month or longer.

    Then there's the Oyster card. This is really the way to go for any length of stay in London. The TFL really to push this as an alternative to paper tickets and passes. You can load the cards with any kind of travelcard or just pre-pay for pay-as-you-go. Oyster cards are touched to a pad at the entrance and exit to the tube gates, busses and tramlinks and are generally prepaid amounts with a daily maximum charged. Currently they are not accepted on National Rail. You can register the card and if it gets stolen you can get a replacement. Convenient for longer stays. No photo required. See the TFL website for more details.

    This would be the ideal way to do it as a card is more convenient, doesn't get ruined if it gets wet or bent and is easier to find in your wallet or pocket. We bought a 7 day bus pass and weren't given the option of a paper pass at all, they sold us an Oyster card and loaded on the pass. You can also use the pass "pay as you go" and just put an amount on it. there is a daily cap so you won't get charged more than a one day travel card each day. If you visit London frequently, save them and load them up with passes or cash when you return. I've also lent them to friends to use as well.

    You can load them with passes/cash at machines or at the counter.

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  • SassyMcPeaches's Profile Photo

    Tips for using your Oyster Card

    by SassyMcPeaches Written Mar 7, 2010

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    Your best option by far is to use London's award-winning public transportation, including the London Underground (aka "the Tube") and an extensive bus system. (Most major London sites are within Zones 1-3, but Heathrow is in Zone 6.)

    Your most affordable option is for each traveler to get an Oyster Card once you arrive. Oyster cards can seem quite complicated and intimidating for visitors at first, but it is worth the extra planning in the long run. A great basic rundown can be found here. The basics to remember are:

    - It can be used on multiple London Transport options, including the Tube and buses.
    - The card and balance can be retained and used on future visits to London.
    - Adding more money to your Oyster balance (or topping up) can be done at many ticket offices and newsagents all over the city; it's very simple and convenient.
    - UK residents can register and maintain their account online, including auto top-up.
    - The fare you pay with an Oyster card is almost guaranteed to be lower than the price of buying tickets individually.
    - How much money to put on your Oyster card depends on how many days you'll be staying, what time of day you need to travel and how many zones you intend to travel to. Price cap information can be found on the London TFL website listed below.

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