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Transport: Make the London Transport "Oyster" card scheme UK-wide

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jock123
Moderator
#11 · Posted: 8 Mar 2012 16:54 · Edited by: jock123
mct16:
I wonder if someone in government came across this little discussion?

I doubt it - this is a call to replace paper tickets on the national rail network with a card system; it isn't a universal travel ticket for public transport such as you suggested, and although the publicity says it's to be like an Oyster card, there's nothing there to say that it will have any inter-operability with any existing scheme, Oyster or otherwise.

It's designed to allow for the closure of manned stations, with a bit of mumbo-jumbo about it "benefiting" passengers slathered on top, which actually goes against the findings of the report, which says it could lead to higher ticket prices, and does nothing to make the already Byzantine pricing structure more transparent (such as why was it cheaper for me to buy a 1st class ticket from Sheffield to London on Sunday, than purchase a standard class seat on the same train?).
Let's get the house in order, and get train companies back under control before foisting this new layer of complication (and the costs for installing it) on the traveling public...
mct16
Member
#12 · Posted: 8 Mar 2012 17:49
If it simplifies the travelling system, then that would be a benefit. For example, on Saturdays, I have to make two bus journeys in order to go to work.

The county where I live offers an £8 ticket which will enable me to make multiple journeys. However, paying for return tickets on both buses comes to a total of £7.00, which is a saving of £1 - and a penny saved is a penny earned when you're on benefits. On the other hand, colleagues have sometimes offered to give me a lift in their car half-way home, thus sparing me a bus journey - but if I had known that the offer was there I would have spared myself the expense of a return ticket.

If smart cards simplify travelling and provide an automatic cap, rather than leave the traveller to having to go to all the trouble of figuring out the best deal for himself, then it would be an improvement.
jock123
Moderator
#13 · Posted: 8 Mar 2012 18:37
mct16:
I have to make two bus journeys in order to go to work.

But this is a system for the trains, which already is an integrated system (of sorts); it isn’t a universal magic ticket…

I’ve said before, I’m an advocate of public transport, but I’d rather that the money ear-marked for a needlessly complicated system be saved and used to reduce my fares.
mct16
Member
#14 · Posted: 8 Mar 2012 19:44
Well with any luck the system will be extended to buses as well. Things like that have been known to happen.

jock123:
I’d rather that the money ear-marked for a needlessly complicated system be saved and used to reduce my fares.

The idea is that the smart cards will make things less complicated, for the public at any rate. Abolishing paper tickets will save money (not to mention some trees) and the smart cards should see the introduction of cheaper fares (like the Oyster originally did).

Besides, any one-off fare reduction won't last very long: the price of a single Oyster bus journey has increased from the original £0.90 to £1.35, thus matching what a paper ticket journey used to cost.
jock123
Moderator
#15 · Posted: 8 Mar 2012 20:49 · Edited by: jock123
mct16:
Abolishing paper tickets will save money

Debateable; as said before, it’s not like the plastic and chip cards are free, and then there’s the infrastructure of readers and computers, as well as software (not to mention back-office staff). You would be able to buy an awful lot of environmentally friendly paper for that cost.

mct16:
The idea is that the smart cards will make things less complicated, for the public at any rate.

How and why? It’s not the paper ticket that’s complicated itself, it’s the proliferation of ticket types, route limitations and the time at which you travel which is complicated, a result of the fragmented and ineffective system we have of rail franchises, rather than a comprehensive national company, as enjoyed by almost every other country in the world. If the pricing structure was simple, then the format of the ticket is virtually immaterial - added to which, if you get the ticket sent to a device you might already have, like a mobile ’phone, you don’t need a paper ticket or a card!

There is no link between the pricing structure and the nature of the ticket; TfL was able to operate a paper ticket discount scheme when it suited them, and to abandon it when it didn’t. Likewise, train companies will be able to fluctuate fares as they please if the changes (of which the cards are just a part) go ahead, and history shows us that prices tend to rise, and ticket prices even more so.

mct16:
the price of a single Oyster bus journey has increased from the original £0.90 to £1.35, thus matching what a paper ticket journey used to cost.

Further making my point, and eroding your proposition. Prices go up…

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