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Zone 1 Fares

Shoreditch High Street is is in Zone 1

Shoreditch High Street is is in Zone 1

We saw this poster at Rotherhithe Overground station the other day, and it’s always good to be reminded of what a complete lie it is.

“Please remember that fares are charged for all the zones you travel through” it says.  Which is NOT the case if you get the Overground between Clapham Junction and Highbury & Islington.

Yes – you may come through Shoreditch High Street station which is in Zone 1, but as we clarified with TfL, as they don’t know which way round the Overground ‘circle’ you travelled, they have to assume that you went via Willesden Junction – which keeps you all in Zone 2, and so you pay the lower fare.

Just something worth remembering … !

05 Apr 15

New fares for 2015

TfL have today announced their new fares for 2015, and there’s something very interesting that we weren’t expecting.

The peak all-day cap for Oyster or contactless payments is actually being reduced – so much so that there’s now no ‘peak’ and ‘off peak’ cap – there is just one capped price, and it’s cheaper than it used to be – approximately one fifth of the price of the equivalent 7 Day Travel Card to Zone 1.

So if you’re someone that only travels a few days a week e.g. a flexible or a part-time worker who never buys a 7 Day Travelcard this could mean that you will be saving a fair bit of money on your journey.

New Fares for 2015

New Fares for 2015

And with the new all-day caps being so much lower than the old peak caps you can travel before 9:30am without being penalised for it as you used to. e.g. travelling in zones 1 to 3 at peak now will cost you £10.60 (vs £7.70 after 9:30am).  In 2015 this will reduce to £7.50 even if you travel before 9:30am. The TfL press release states that it estimates that ‘Over 600,000 passengers’ will benefit from paying lower fares.

There’ll also be a 5p increase on the single fare for buses – up from £1.45 to £1.50, with the daily bus cap however remaining at £4.40 – but a One Day Bus & Tram Pass (last available in 2009 when it was discontinued) will be re-introduced – it costs £5 a day and is for those who wish to travel but aren’t in possession of an Oyster card or contactless card. Tfl says the pass will be “a lightweight single use Oyster card that will not require a deposit” – we’re not quite sure if “single use Oyster card” means “use the card for one day and throw it away” (seems wasteful) or “will only be for a bus pass” though (would be more sensible).

There are though, some losers amongst the winners and those are people who travel into London off-peak from the zones further out. Download the full PDF from the website here to look at the new fares, which start on Monday 5th January 2015.


11 Nov 14

Thames Clippers Tickets go mobile!

With contactless payments going live on Transport for London just around the corner in September, it seems the London River Buses don’t want to be left out of the party and have introduced a new mobile ticketing App rather than integrating into the new TfL systems.

The new App uses the JustRide platform by mobile ticketing gurus Masabi and allows you to book tickets wherever you are.  Your phone becomes both your ticket and departure board.  Once you’ve signed up you can buy and store multiple tickets, including season tickets which you activate as you board. Note, however, it doesn’t yet let you apply the discount that you get with your travel card or PAYG Oyster discounts so it may not be suitable for everyone.

The Thames Clippers Tickets App is available now for both iOS devices and Android devices.

If you’ve never used the River Bus service, you can find all about it here in Station Master Geoff’s excellent short film:


22 Aug 14

Contactless launch date

contactlesscardToday TfL have announced that contactless payments will launch on TfL services on the 16th September 2014.

However, don’t go throwing away your Oyster card just yet as it is what it says: TfL services only and not the current contactless travel on the buses, nor (officially) National Rail services in London (the contactless pilot has worked on National Rail).

However it appears that TfL hope to have National Rail services on board by the launch date and are working with Network Rail to enable this.

Diamond Geezer has an excellent FAQ about the contactless system on his blog.


25 Jul 14

Emergency Bus Fares

Emergency Fare TicketWith the buses going cash-free from the 6th July and the fact that you cannot guarantee that your contactless payment card might be rejected as payment if your Oyster card has run out of credit, TfL have this weekend (8th June) introduced One more bus journey.

If you have no credit or pass on your Oyster card, you will now be able to make one more journey on a bus.  You then have to top up your pay as you go credit to clear the negative balance before you can use your Oyster card again.

As this Station Master boarded a bus today, we saw “One more bus journey” in action.  The Oyster card of the passenger in front made the ticket machine emit an unfamiliar sequence of beeps and the ticket machine display read “Emergency Fare £1.45”.

The driver called the passenger back and printed out a paper ticket, which the passenger kindly allowed us to photograph.

11 Jun 14


Commuter Club

Commuter Club

We stumbled across a travel-related website at the weekend that we’d not seen before, and had one of those “We can’t believe no one’s done this before”, type moments – and so thought it worthy of a mention.

It’s CommuterClub, and they’re out to save you money on your Oyster card buy letting you buy an annual travel card – but at a reduced rate.

It’s always cheaper to buy an annual travelcard than it is to pay for weeklies or monthlies, but of course you have to shell out all that money in advance – something which not everyone has. There are a few large corporate companies out there that let you have a ‘season ticket loan’ that let you spread the cost of your travel from your salary – but if your workplace doesn’t do it, then this could be the thing for you instead.

You can sign up for an annual travel card, and pay back CommuterClub at a monthly rate – working out cheaper for you than if you normally buy weekly or monthly tickets.  They have a page where you can work out how much you can save depending on what zone you regularly travel in from .

You can also cancel at anytime, so you’re not committed to the whole year – and you’ll save time too never having to go back to the ticket machine or ticket office to buy another weekly every week or month, you can just go for a whole year instead!


09 Jun 14