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Don’t Use The Bus!

I’ve managed to break the oyster system again!  I’ll admit that this time it was a deliberate attempt to try something out-of-the-ordinary, but not impossible.  I was returning from Balham to Crayford and I changed at New Cross Gate to avoid using zone 1.  It was raining, so rather than walk to New Cross I caught a 453 bus.  Yes, you’ve guessed it, the bus journey ended the OSI so the leg from New Cross to Crayford was classed as a seperate journey.  In the context of my travel yesterday I was only overcharged either 10p or 90p, but it’s the principle that matters.

On the outward journey I have gone via London and was correctly charged £3.20 for a zones 1-6 journey.  My rail journey home should have been £2.20 as I avoided zone 1.  This made a total of £5.40.  The oyster fare for a bus is £1.20 which would take the total up to £6.60, yet because the rail journey was split in two I ended up being capped at an all zones travelcard of £7.50.

You might think, well that’s tough, but consider another approach.  Rather than use the Oyster card on the bus I could have paid £2 in cash.  This would have preserved the OSI and made my total for the day only £7.40, still 10p below the travelcard rate.  But hang on a minute, TfL say that Oyster should always charge the cheapest fare.  Time for another letter I think.

In the meantime, don’t use a bus in the middle of an out-of-station interchange, even if it is raining or you’re carrying heavy shopping.

4 Responses

  1. Why not get 2 PAYG and use the other for your bus journey?

  2. Hi Paul,

    You could have two PAYG cards, yes, but if you later end up capping at a travelcard anyway you will have spent more than you should. It’s swings and roundabouts I’m afraid.

  3. melody collins

    i lost my card, so bought another 1 & then found the 1 i thought id lost! so i took the new 1 into the shop where i bought it & they said they cant refund me, i have 2 take it 2 london underground? is this true? surely if they allowed 2 sell them then they should be able 2 give refunds? ive never heard anythin so absurd, so i have 2 travel 2 get a refund??? cant find anywhere on this sight or tfl where it says i have 2 take it 2 a specific place??

  4. Hi Melody,

    I would have thought that if the card had only just been issued that they should be able to refund it, but it may be TfL policy not to allow refunds other than at Underground stations. According to this page on the TfL site you can also send it back to their refunds office with a covering letter.

    Hope that helps.

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