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New OSI at Tottenham Court Road

A new OSI was activated between gatelines at Tottenham Court Road towards the end of September.  There’s a 10 minute allowance either way.  The OSI List has been updated (including the change history).

Discontinued OSI at Mansion House

TfL have decided to remove the OSI between Cannon Street NR and Mansion House LU.  This was added some time ago when reconstruction work at Cannon Street resulted in closure of the LU station.  They say that analysis of journeys shows very few people use this OSI compared to the thousands using the NR-LU OSI at Cannon Street itself.  I’ve removed this OSI from the list here.

Most Used OSIs

TfL have very kindly provided data showing how many journeys make use of each OSI in the system. The data was recorded over a four week period in June/July 2018. Unsurprisingly the most popular ones are interchanges between National Rail terminals and Underground stations.  There are some surprises, including the accessible route OSI at Woodford which wasn’t used at all.  I’m also curious as to why so many people still walk between Hackney Downs and Central when there is a footbridge within the paid areas linking the two stations.

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Bayswater to Queensway – New OSI

I’ve received clarification from TfL that they have indeed added a new OSI between the above two stations.  This means that you can now avoid Notting Hill Gate when changing between Circle/District Lines and the Central Line.

Oyster Fare Finder (mobile friendly)

A little later than planned, I’m delighted to announce our new mobile friendly Oyster Fare Finder. The links on this site have been updated to use it within the site, but you can also access it directly at https://oysterfares.com/off/. The functionality is very similar to the old version, but on the first screen you now choose which type of Oyster card you want to see fares for. At the top of the results page there is a new button for “amend” so you can check a different card type or just change one of the stations.

The major difference between this and the TfL version is that we still display the zonal coverage of the fares. This can be useful when working out what the default route is likely to be, but also clarifies which zones are required on a travelcard to make the journey, or which daily cap might apply. There are some cases where the default route doesn’t necessarily use the expected zones. Examples include Finsbury Park to Hackney Downs and Mottingham to Woolwich Arsenal.

The old version showing all the fares for each card type is still available on the fares guide page, in the menu on the right hand side.

Happy 15th Birthday Oyster

Today is 15 years since Oyster was first launched on London buses and the Underground, 30th June 2003. In the early days it was just for single journeys with no daily capping.

Watch out for a celebratory launch of our new fare finder tool later this weekend.

Gatwick Express fares suspended

As part of the resolution to the well publicised difficulties with the Thameslink operation, GTR have suspended all restrictions on use of tickets by brand. The cheapest Southern, Thameslink, Not Gatwick Express or Any Permitted ticket is valid for any journey, subject to time restrictions for off-peak tickets. This is expected to last until the end of August.

This only affects Oyster and contactless users at Victoria where no-one should be expected to touch in or out at the platform 13/14 gates. Instead passengers should be directed through a side gate to use adjacent platform gates.

May 2018 Fares Revision

Well, not so much a revision (to actual fares), but there will be hundreds of new journeys available to and from Heathrow NR from Sunday 20th May 2018.  That is when the Heathrow Connect operation is transferred to TfL-Rail.  As already mentioned, Heathrow NR will be in zone 6, but single fares to and from the airport will carry a premium.  Oyster and Contactless will NOT be available on Heathrow Express until later in the year.

The premium fares mean that I’ll be adding another column to the fares guide pages. Although the new fares were publicised in a press release in March, there was no mention of fares to West London destinations in zones 3-6 via Ealing Broadway. Watch this space in the early part of next week.

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Elizabeth Line Fares Announced

Yesterday TfL released details of the fares to be charged on the Elizabeth Line when it starts operating at the end of this year.  They also confirmed fares for the second TfL Rail line from May 20th between Paddington and Heathrow.  This will become part of the Elizabeth line later on.

The big news is that Heathrow (TfL Rail) will be joining Heathrow (LU) in zone 6.  This means that travelcards will be valid as will all other TfL concessions (zip cards, freedom passes, etc).  The downside is that there will still be a premium to be paid for single fares to/from Heathrow (TfL Rail), but Oyster and contactless capping at the zone 6 level will limit the effect on return journeys and indeed on other travel within the zones that day once in London.

As for the rest of the line, fares in the central area will be the same as normal Underground fares.  This will extend westwards as far as Hayes & Harlington and West Drayton.  To the east Whitechapel and Canary Wharf are mentioned as being standard LU fares, but the press release is silent on further out.  Currently the fares to Harold Wood are the same in the peak but a bit more expensive off-peak.  It remains to be seen what fares will apply to/from Woolwich and Abbey Wood.

I’ll add more details on the actual fares in the coming weeks.

Unlimited Hopper Bus/Tram Fare

True to TfLs new year promise that the unlimited hopper fare would be introduced this month, it has indeed gone live today.  You can now make as many bus or tram journeys as you like within an hour and only be charged one fare of £1.50.  I’m already aware of one person (Geoff Marshall) who has made 25 journeys up and down one road, so it definitely works.

At the same time you can now also make a rail/tube/dlr journey in the middle, so bus to station, train to town, bus to the office will only cost £1.50 plus the rail fare Read the rest of this entry »

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