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Oyster Card - Balance Check



 
 
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  #1  
Old June 18th 09, 10:47 AM posted to uk.transport.london
Ben Birkner
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 3
Default Oyster Card - Balance Check

Returning back to London next month for a short visit I wonder how I
can check the balance of my Oyster card without queuing at a ticket
office. I had topped-up last time 20 or 30 and would like to know
what's left. Thanks for any advise.

Ben
  #2  
Old June 18th 09, 11:03 AM posted to uk.transport.london
Mizter T
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 5,491
Default Oyster Card - Balance Check


On Jun 18, 11:47*am, Ben Birkner wrote:
Returning back to London next month for a short visit I wonder how I
can check the balance of my Oyster card without queuing at a ticket
office. I had topped-up last time 20 or 30 and would like to know
what's left. Thanks for any advise.


You can check your balance at any touchscreen ticket machine at any
Underground station - simply hold up your card to the yellow reader on
the ticket machine and your balance will be displayed on-screen.

You can also check your balance at shops that top-up Oyster cards
(these are branded "Oyster Ticket Stops") - though the shopkeeper
would obviously prefer you to buy something whilst you're there! There
are loads of these shops around London, but not many in central
London.

Also, when you finish a journey on the Underground then both the fare
paid for that journey and your remaining balance flashes up on the
display of the gate - though how easy this is to see really depends on
whether the gate is an older or newer model, and anyway you do need to
know what to look for. Also when boarding a bus the display shows the
remaining balance - but again you need to know what to look for, and
you've got to be quick.

Is your card registered? If so then you can check your balance online
using the "Oyster online" service he
https://oyster.tfl.gov.uk/
  #3  
Old June 18th 09, 11:21 AM posted to uk.transport.london
Ben Birkner
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 3
Default Oyster Card - Balance Check

On 18 Jun., 13:03, Mizter T wrote:
On Jun 18, 11:47*am, Ben Birkner wrote:
[...]
Also, when you finish a journey on the Underground then both the fare
paid for that journey and your remaining balance flashes up on the
display of the gate - though how easy this is to see really depends on
whether the gate is an older or newer model, and anyway you do need to
know what to look for. Also when boarding a bus the display shows the
remaining balance - but again you need to know what to look for, and
you've got to be quick.


Thanks, Mizter T. I frankly have never noticed any displays at gates
or in buses
when using my Oyster Card. But this might be due to the hurry you're
usually in
when using TfL. I will be more carefull the next time.

Ben


  #4  
Old June 18th 09, 11:39 AM posted to uk.transport.london
Mizter T
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 5,491
Default Oyster Card - Balance Check


On Jun 18, 12:21*pm, Ben Birkner wrote:

On 18 Jun., 13:03, Mizter T wrote:

On Jun 18, 11:47*am, Ben Birkner wrote:
[...]
Also, when you finish a journey on the Underground then both the fare
paid for that journey and your remaining balance flashes up on the
display of the gate - though how easy this is to see really depends on
whether the gate is an older or newer model, and anyway you do need to
know what to look for. Also when boarding a bus the display shows the
remaining balance - but again you need to know what to look for, and
you've got to be quick.


Thanks, Mizter T. I frankly have never noticed any displays at gates
or in buses when using my Oyster Card. But this might be due to
the hurry you're usually in when using TfL. I will be more carefull
the next time.


The LCD displays on the bus ticket machines are pretty hard to read
and easy to miss too (especially when there's people behind you) -
though the LCD displays on the validators on bendy buses near the
middle and rear doors are easy to see. The display on the old type of
gates that have been retrofitted with Oyster pads is very hard to see
too (again especially if there's someone behind you) - there's a tiny
LCD display next to the Oyster pad itself. On the newer models of
gates the numbers flash up on the display next to the green arrow.
  #5  
Old June 18th 09, 02:37 PM posted to uk.transport.london
tim.....
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 584
Default Oyster Card - Balance Check


"Ben Birkner" wrote in message
...
On 18 Jun., 13:03, Mizter T wrote:
On Jun 18, 11:47 am, Ben Birkner wrote:
[...]
Also, when you finish a journey on the Underground then both the fare
paid for that journey and your remaining balance flashes up on the
display of the gate - though how easy this is to see really depends on
whether the gate is an older or newer model, and anyway you do need to
know what to look for. Also when boarding a bus the display shows the
remaining balance - but again you need to know what to look for, and
you've got to be quick.


Thanks, Mizter T. I frankly have never noticed any displays at gates
or in buses
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No, that's because it's only there for a micro second and impossible to read
as you are pushed forward by the next person waiting to use the machine, I
don't think I can name a dumber design on a piece of electronic intended for
use by the consumer

tim




  #6  
Old June 18th 09, 02:47 PM posted to uk.transport.london
Mizter T
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 5,491
Default Oyster Card - Balance Check


On Jun 18, 3:37*pm, "tim....." wrote:

"Ben Birkner" wrote:

On 18 Jun., 13:03, Mizter T wrote:

On Jun 18, 11:47 am, Ben Birkner wrote:
[...]
Also, when you finish a journey on the Underground then both the fare
paid for that journey and your remaining balance flashes up on the
display of the gate - though how easy this is to see really depends on
whether the gate is an older or newer model, and anyway you do need to
know what to look for. Also when boarding a bus the display shows the
remaining balance - but again you need to know what to look for, and
you've got to be quick.


Thanks, Mizter T. I frankly have never noticed any displays at gates
or in buses
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No, that's because it's only there for a micro second and impossible to read
as you are pushed forward by the next person waiting to use the machine, I
don't think I can name a dumber design on a piece of electronic intended for
use by the consumer


The bus ticket machine LCD displays [1] seem to have been designed
with longer cash transactions in mind, when you'd have time to see the
display. Get on the bus last and you'll be able to scrutinise it
though, as it doesn't disappear immediately. They should be backlit
and far easier to read of course.

The displays on the newer gates meanwhile are easy to read if you know
where to look - when you exit a gate, the top figure is the fare
deducted, the bottom figure is the remaining balance. (When you enter
I think it just displays your balance before any fare is deducted, but
I must admit I can't remember.)

The LCD displays standalone Oyster validators suffer from the same
problem as the bus displays in that they're not backlit.


-----
[1] Yes I have just referred to Liquid Crystal Display displays, so
shoot me!
  #7  
Old June 18th 09, 03:36 PM posted to uk.transport.london
redcat
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 129
Default Oyster Card - Balance Check

Mizter T wrote:
On Jun 18, 12:21 pm, Ben Birkner wrote:

On 18 Jun., 13:03, Mizter T wrote:

On Jun 18, 11:47 am, Ben Birkner wrote:
[...]
Also, when you finish a journey on the Underground then both the fare
paid for that journey and your remaining balance flashes up on the
display of the gate - though how easy this is to see really depends on
whether the gate is an older or newer model, and anyway you do need to
know what to look for. Also when boarding a bus the display shows the
remaining balance - but again you need to know what to look for, and
you've got to be quick.

Thanks, Mizter T. I frankly have never noticed any displays at gates
or in buses when using my Oyster Card. But this might be due to
the hurry you're usually in when using TfL. I will be more carefull
the next time.


The LCD displays on the bus ticket machines are pretty hard to read
and easy to miss too (especially when there's people behind you) -
though the LCD displays on the validators on bendy buses near the
middle and rear doors are easy to see. The display on the old type of
gates that have been retrofitted with Oyster pads is very hard to see
too (again especially if there's someone behind you) - there's a tiny
LCD display next to the Oyster pad itself. On the newer models of
gates the numbers flash up on the display next to the green arrow.


LOL! PMFJI

I never look to see what's next to the green arrow. I am so conditioned
to pick up my skirts and run, having been trapped in those padded
turnstile gates in the past. (I made the mistake of holding my shopping
bags ahead of me, so they registered as the payer and I appeared to be
sneaking in behind them!)
  #8  
Old June 18th 09, 06:41 PM posted to uk.transport.london
MIG
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 3,154
Default Oyster Card - Balance Check

On 18 June, 18:57, Paul Corfield wrote:
On Thu, 18 Jun 2009 15:37:17 +0100, "tim....."

wrote:

"Ben Birkner" wrote in message
....
Thanks, Mizter T. I frankly have never noticed any displays at gates
or in buses
--------------------------------------------------------------------------*--------------------------------


No, that's because it's only there for a micro second and impossible to read
as you are pushed forward by the next person waiting to use the machine, I
don't think I can name a dumber design on a piece of electronic intended for
use by the consumer


As the design is not really any different to those on thousands of gates
in Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong who all had stored value ticketing
long before London I trust you will go and direct your criticism at them
first. *Then you can bare in mind that all of those systems handle
massive flows of passengers on higher capacity gates than we have in
London and seem to cope with little or no problem. *Finally you may also
wish to consider the need to balance the ability of a passenger to see
their balance for a short period of time with displaying the info for
too long thus allowing criminals and pickpockets to target people with
large amounts of value on their cards.

You may think it was all chucked together with no thought but it wasn't.


But the newer gates display it OK, so there can't have been a policy
decision not to display it. The criticism was surely for the tiny
unlit display in the pad that you've already gone past unless you
block the exit while peering at it.

I don't know that it's dumb, rather than done within technical
limitations, but it's true that the result is not very helpful. I
wonder if a display could be built into where the green arrow is, but
maybe the wiring would be too difficult.
  #9  
Old June 18th 09, 08:22 PM posted to uk.transport.london
Mr Thant
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 973
Default Oyster Card - Balance Check

On 18 June, 18:57, Paul Corfield wrote:
As the design is not really any different to those on thousands of gates
in Japan


Pardon? Japanese ticket gates are radically different form those in
the UK:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/khaz/2661684354/sizes/l/

They're much deeper which means you have time to move forward before
you encounter the actual paddles (which are right at the far end). The
display is on the top surface facing upwards, and again, at the far
end by where you pick up the ticket.

(also stupidly easy to sneak under or over - but this being Japan,
nobody does)

The trick with the bus Oyster readers is to focus your eyes on the
screen long before you touch your card.

U
  #10  
Old June 18th 09, 09:22 PM posted to uk.transport.london
Mizter T
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 5,491
Default Oyster Card - Balance Check


On Jun 18, 6:57*pm, Paul Corfield wrote:

On Thu, 18 Jun 2009 15:37:17 +0100, "tim....."
wrote:

"Ben Birkner" wrote:
Thanks, Mizter T. I frankly have never noticed any displays at gates
or in buses
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


No, that's because it's only there for a micro second and impossible to read
as you are pushed forward by the next person waiting to use the machine, I
don't think I can name a dumber design on a piece of electronic intended for
use by the consumer


As the design is not really any different to those on thousands of gates
in Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong who all had stored value ticketing
long before London I trust you will go and direct your criticism at them
first. *Then you can bare in mind that all of those systems handle
massive flows of passengers on higher capacity gates than we have in
London and seem to cope with little or no problem. *Finally you may also
wish to consider the need to balance the ability of a passenger to see
their balance for a short period of time with displaying the info for
too long thus allowing criminals and pickpockets to target people with
large amounts of value on their cards.

You may think it was all chucked together with no thought but it wasn't.


My reading of tim's comment was that it was really about the bus
ticket machines - perhaps he might care to clarify matters?

As I've said already, I think the display on the bus ticket machines
is less than ideal - though if there's someone behind you then you'll
only ever get a moment to look, and what with the desire to speed up
boarding times and reduce dwell times, perhaps we don't really want
people slowing down when boarding the bus as they try and catch sight
of the display.

FWIW I think the displays on the newer gates are absolutely fine.
(Indeed the whole pickpocket/criminal issue has certainly crossed my
mind - arguably a good reason to just choose 20 rather than 40 when
it comes to auto top-up.) The very small displays alongside the Oyster
pads retrofitted on the older pneumatic gates are an inevitable
compromise, which is fine too.
 




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