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Old August 7th 17, 05:43 PM posted to uk.transport.london
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Default Oyster and Contactless on NR

I thought when the Mayor wanted to extend Oyster to National Rail route in
London ATOC insisted that railcards had to be recognised and discounts
given. So the system to register railcards on Oyster cards was somewhat
haphazardly introduced. For example you couldn't check railcard registration
status at a ticket machine. It was only when they decided to close all the
ticket offices that they had to make it possible as it now is.

But for people living outside London who aren't regular visitors contactless
became a much better option when introduced unless you are a railcard holder
because, although Oyster cards have to be registered to get railcard
discounts, they have not enabled railcard discounts against Contactless
travel.

So NR passengers can't get their railcard discounts using contactless. My
question is why ATOC put up with this? It seems to go completely against
their agreement to allow Oyster to NR routes.

--
Colin Rosenstiel

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Old August 7th 17, 08:51 PM posted to uk.transport.london
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Default Oyster and Contactless on NR

wrote:
I thought when the Mayor wanted to extend Oyster to National Rail route in
London ATOC insisted that railcards had to be recognised and discounts
given. So the system to register railcards on Oyster cards was somewhat
haphazardly introduced. For example you couldn't check railcard registration
status at a ticket machine. It was only when they decided to close all the
ticket offices that they had to make it possible as it now is.

But for people living outside London who aren't regular visitors contactless
became a much better option when introduced unless you are a railcard holder
because, although Oyster cards have to be registered to get railcard
discounts, they have not enabled railcard discounts against Contactless
travel.

So NR passengers can't get their railcard discounts using contactless. My
question is why ATOC put up with this? It seems to go completely against
their agreement to allow Oyster to NR routes.


Does ATOC even exist any more? Wasn't it replaced by the RDG?

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Old August 7th 17, 09:16 PM posted to uk.transport.london
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Default Oyster and Contactless on NR

On Monday, 7 August 2017 18:43:34 UTC+1, wrote:
I thought when the Mayor wanted to extend Oyster to National Rail route in
London ATOC insisted that railcards had to be recognised and discounts
given. So the system to register railcards on Oyster cards was somewhat
haphazardly introduced. For example you couldn't check railcard registration
status at a ticket machine. It was only when they decided to close all the
ticket offices that they had to make it possible as it now is.

But for people living outside London who aren't regular visitors contactless
became a much better option when introduced unless you are a railcard holder
because, although Oyster cards have to be registered to get railcard
discounts, they have not enabled railcard discounts against Contactless
travel.

So NR passengers can't get their railcard discounts using contactless. My
question is why ATOC put up with this? It seems to go completely against
their agreement to allow Oyster to NR routes.


Since when can Rail Delivery Group dictate how TfL establish their own ticketing technology? It was up to the TOCs as to whether they accepted the use of Contactless technology on their services in Greater London. If you recall they initially refused. I can only assume they expected to repeat their trick of not accepting Oyster and waiting for the Mayor to deposit a wheelbarrow of money on their doorsteps. Unfortunately this time there were no wheelbarrows of cash just a load of very predictable (and probably partly orchestrated) criticism in the London media and from a range of London politicians. After suffering a barrage of negative publicity and social media commentary they changed their minds.

There is a very practical issue that there is absolutely no way to verify a railcard holder is in possession of any given contactless payment card (CPC). The discount also cannot be set in the chip on any CPC. With Oyster the discount can be set at a station and on the Oyster card. I suspect the banks do not want any TfL staff having to handle bank cards in respect of online accounts or discounts. In the event of any payment issues people are directed to their banks and not TfL. I do understand your complaint but this is a difficult area to resolve when you place the "travel medium" in the hands of a third party as TfL have opted to do with contactless. The non existence of ticket offices also creates a further issue not that they (AFAIK) had direct access into the customer Oyster card database. All that ever happened were transactions that were later verified and consolidated against customer accounts (where they exist).

I wonder whether railcard discounts are available for mobile ticketing or the various TOC specific smartcard schemes that exist? I've not specifically checked but I am sceptical that RDG have ensured railcard acceptance even on rail industry only smart / mobile technology like the Key. If they can't manage their own affairs then it's a stretch to expect them to force TfL to do anything when TfL is under no obligation to accept railcards anyway. The offer of discounted PAYG fares for Railcard holders on TfL services is a fairly recent and generous concession which was never part of the scheme in the days of magnetic or paper ticketing (except ODTCs and a few specific flows where LU sold tickets on NR routes).

--
Paul C
via Google
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Old August 8th 17, 12:00 AM posted to uk.transport.london
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In article ,
(Paul Corfield) wrote:

On Monday, 7 August 2017 18:43:34 UTC+1,
wrote:
I thought when the Mayor wanted to extend Oyster to National Rail
route in London ATOC insisted that railcards had to be recognised
and discounts given. So the system to register railcards on Oyster
cards was somewhat haphazardly introduced. For example you couldn't
check railcard registration status at a ticket machine. It was only
when they decided to close all the ticket offices that they had to
make it possible as it now is.

But for people living outside London who aren't regular visitors
contactless became a much better option when introduced unless you
are a railcard holder because, although Oyster cards have to be
registered to get railcard discounts, they have not enabled
railcard discounts against Contactless travel.

So NR passengers can't get their railcard discounts using
contactless. My question is why ATOC put up with this? It seems to
go completely against their agreement to allow Oyster to NR routes.


Since when can Rail Delivery Group dictate how TfL establish their
own ticketing technology? It was up to the TOCs as to whether they
accepted the use of Contactless technology on their services in
Greater London. If you recall they initially refused. I can only
assume they expected to repeat their trick of not accepting Oyster
and waiting for the Mayor to deposit a wheelbarrow of money on their
doorsteps. Unfortunately this time there were no wheelbarrows of
cash just a load of very predictable (and probably partly
orchestrated) criticism in the London media and from a range of
London politicians. After suffering a barrage of negative publicity
and social media commentary they changed their minds.


So that's how it happened then. Thanks.

There is a very practical issue that there is absolutely no way to
verify a railcard holder is in possession of any given contactless
payment card (CPC). The discount also cannot be set in the chip on
any CPC. With Oyster the discount can be set at a station and on the
Oyster card. I suspect the banks do not want any TfL staff having to
handle bank cards in respect of online accounts or discounts. In the
event of any payment issues people are directed to their banks and
not TfL. I do understand your complaint but this is a difficult area
to resolve when you place the "travel medium" in the hands of a third
party as TfL have opted to do with contactless. The non existence of
ticket offices also creates a further issue not that they (AFAIK) had
direct access into the customer Oyster card database. All that ever
happened were transactions that were later verified and consolidated
against customer accounts (where they exist).


It's the same as for Oyster but the flag would be placed on the Oyster
account instead of on the individual card. The railcard holder still has to
present the railcard to LUL for them to place the flag on (actually a card
number and expiry date rather than a simple flag as with Oyster cards). I
can see that might not be so simple if all that is available to staff is a
ticket machine but in these tablet-infested days they should have a way.The
point of Contactless (and Oyster in the future) is that all the transactions
take place in the back office, as you well know.

I wonder whether railcard discounts are available for mobile
ticketing or the various TOC specific smartcard schemes that exist?
I've not specifically checked but I am sceptical that RDG have
ensured railcard acceptance even on rail industry only smart / mobile
technology like the Key.


Railcard discounts are given on Greater Anglia m-Tickets which I use
regularly. Very handy they are too if I'm going to Liverpool St or Tottenham
Hale. Greater Anglia use the Masabi app also used by Virgin Trains.

If they can't manage their own affairs then
it's a stretch to expect them to force TfL to do anything when TfL is
under no obligation to accept railcards anyway. The offer of
discounted PAYG fares for Railcard holders on TfL services is a
fairly recent and generous concession which was never part of the
scheme in the days of magnetic or paper ticketing (except ODTCs and a
few specific flows where LU sold tickets on NR routes).


They had to force the pace because railcard discounts were available on NR
routes within London where the Mayor wanted Oyster accepted. For example the
change saved me money on Vauxhall-Putney single journeys, I recall. As so
often happens, South London is being forgotten.

I can't speak for The Key because, despite their trains taking and bringing
most of Cambridge's 11 million passengers annually, GTR don't allow The Key
to be used here. What was the point of a standard (ITSO) if different cards
can't use other TOCs' gatelines and other systems?

--
Colin Rosenstiel
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Old August 8th 17, 07:32 AM posted to uk.transport.london
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Default Oyster and Contactless on NR

In message , at 19:00:35
on Mon, 7 Aug 2017, remarked:

I can't speak for The Key because, despite their trains taking and bringing
most of Cambridge's 11 million passengers annually, GTR don't allow The Key
to be used here.


Although it was in their list of post-franchise promises.

What was the point of a standard (ITSO) if different cards
can't use other TOCs' gatelines and other systems?


There's something very wrong with the way ITSO has been rolled out.

The interoperability is essentially zero - even between different bits
of Stagecoach for example (I have three of their cards - EMT, SWT and
"Cambus"). I've also got three different "The Keys", but haven't tested
their interoperability because basically I don't have anywhere I travel
where any of them would be accepted as a ticket[1].

The deadlock at Cambridge, however, must be Abellio's fault, because
they operate the station and are the ones presumably refusing to update
their gates to accept (and communicate back to GTR) The Key swipes.

[1] Although one day I must try them all at a GTR ticket machine and see
what it says. In another priceless bit of interoperability-NOT their
website claims such machines are only located *outside* the
Travelcard area. It's bonkers that this can't be done at Kings Cross
(apparently).
--
Roland Perry


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Old August 9th 17, 04:37 PM posted to uk.transport.london
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On Tuesday, 8 August 2017 01:00:38 UTC+1, wrote:

It's the same as for Oyster but the flag would be placed on the Oyster
account instead of on the individual card. The railcard holder still has to
present the railcard to LUL for them to place the flag on (actually a card
number and expiry date rather than a simple flag as with Oyster cards). I
can see that might not be so simple if all that is available to staff is a
ticket machine but in these tablet-infested days they should have a way.The point of Contactless (and Oyster in the future) is that all the transactions take place in the back office, as you well know.


I know that is a theoretical possibility but take a step back as to how online accountd work. The card holder logs on and sets up the account themselves. If they wish to add bank card details to their account to give access to extra information facilities if they use their bank card for travel then that is their choice entirely. TfL hold the data but never enter it or change it.

How on earth does an LU employee verify a railcard and then enter the details to a customer account? This would require the customer to either access a LU computer or for a ticket machine to be reconfigured to access the customer account database. Alternatively the customer would have to disclose log on facilities and bank card numbers to a LU employee. That's against all good practice for secure online accounts and control of your bank details. The only other choice is to allow people to enter railcard details against their account without verification. This is just inviting fraud.

There may be some combination of controls and facilities that I am missing but it's not exactly straightforward. TfL are also keen to remove as many transactions from stations as possible so adding more of them is contrary to the general policy direction.

I suppose the new generation of app based railcards could be made to "talk" to the upcoming Oyster app to give some form of verification but that doesn't give a universal service option for all railcard holders whether they own a smartphone or not.

I'm not saying it isn't desirable just that I can immediately see fraud and control issues without verification of identity and entitlement at some point in the process. TfL may take the view that they can live with the fraud risk but given how tight finances are these days I can't quite see that happening. Having an open fraud opporunity also fails the TfL Internal Audit test and also an external political test.

--
Paul C
via Google


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