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Old December 29th 06, 03:36 PM posted to uk.transport.london
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Default London TravelWatch criticises cash fare rises in London

London TravelWatch - "Passengers face yet another exorbitant New Year"
http://www.londontravelwatch.org.uk/news.php?id=431

BBC News online - "Transport fare rises 'too high'"
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/6217331.stm

Here's a few excerpts from the BBC news story, with quotes from the
London TravelWatch chairman and Mayor Livingstone...

-----
Brian Cooke, chairman of passenger watchdog body London TravelWatch,
said non-Oyster card users were being penalised by too high fare
increases.
[...]

Mr Cooke said: "We are extremely concerned about the exorbitant cash
fares on both buses, which rise by a third to 2, and on Tubes in Zone
1 (in central London), which passengers will see rise to an
astronomical 4 - even if only going one stop.

"This will especially hit infrequent visitors and tourists to London,
who will not necessarily benefit from the cheaper prices available when
using Oyster cards.

"These fare increases could drive people away from public transport
back to cars and taxis, which would be deeply disappointing."
[...]

Mr Livingstone said: "There are now huge savings to be made by using
Oyster. We have been able to freeze many Oyster pay-as-you-go bus and
Tube fares this year. Many now cost half the same journey paid by cash.

"We said that in order to pay for massive investment in our public
transport system, including new rail links and better services, there
would be three years of 10% fares increases.

"The savings and efficiencies made by Transport for London mean that
the planned 10% increase in fares for this year has been cut back."
-----

I do disagree with the following statement in London TravelWatch the
press release:

"Obtaining, and recharging, an Oystercard is still not an easy process,
and in areas where there is no tube system, there are few places in
which to buy them, so this will hit London - already an expensive city
to visit - hard."

You can obtain and charge Oysters at 2,200 newsagents - or in TfL
parlance 'Oyster Ticket Stops'. These newsagents are all over London,
not just in areas served by the Tube. I'm sure there are blackspots in
some parts of London, in which case I'd suggest that TfL encourage
retailers to become Oyster Ticket Stops, perhaps by having some kind of
introductory offer for the first year or something along those lines.


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Old December 30th 06, 10:42 AM posted to uk.transport.london
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Default London TravelWatch criticises cash fare rises in London

"This will especially hit infrequent visitors and tourists to London,
who will not necessarily benefit from the cheaper prices available when
using Oyster cards.


Is this just his way of saying infrequent visitors and tourists wont get
themselves Oyster cards? It seems to me they can still get a reasonable
deal with paper one day tickets and otherwise if they don't get Oyster then
more fool them. I know there are people who don't do any forward planning
(witness Ryanair passengers in the past who haven't even bothered to check
where their destination airport is until they land, and indeed many who have
turned up at the wrong airport for their flights), but if you have to book
flights/trains/coaches or plan car journeys, find somewhere to stay, plan
yourself a bit of an itinerary, change currency, prepare yourself with some
rudiments of a foreign language etc, then checking the public transport
arrangements doesn't see a lot to ask.

"These fare increases could drive people away from public transport
back to cars and taxis, which would be deeply disappointing."


So these visitors who aren't prepared to get themselves an Oyster card would
be happy to drive around a strange city, paying the congestion charge and
car parking charges, or to jump into taxis in blissful ignorance or how much
they will be charged? Sorry I don't think the argument washes.

You can obtain and charge Oysters at 2,200 newsagents - or in TfL
parlance 'Oyster Ticket Stops'. These newsagents are all over London,
not just in areas served by the Tube. I'm sure there are blackspots in
some parts of London, in which case I'd suggest that TfL encourage
retailers to become Oyster Ticket Stops, perhaps by having some kind of
introductory offer for the first year or something along those lines.


I've long suggested that there should be dedicated Oyster top up collection
points at locations such as bus stations, and probably machines to charge
the cards too. It always seems a little odd when you see bus stations
without a ticket machine of any kind in sight.

G.


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Old December 31st 06, 01:44 PM posted to uk.transport.london
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Default London TravelWatch criticises cash fare rises in London

So these visitors who aren't prepared to get themselves an Oyster card would
be happy to drive around a strange city, paying the congestion charge and
car parking charges, or to jump into taxis in blissful ignorance or how much
they will be charged? Sorry I don't think the argument washes.


Actually in my experience, an awful lot of tourists do do the latter
(jump into a taxi) very frequently. In some cases, even with Oyster, if
there are several people travelling it can be cheaper than the tube, too.

You can obtain and charge Oysters at 2,200 newsagents - or in TfL
parlance 'Oyster Ticket Stops'. These newsagents are all over London,
not just in areas served by the Tube. I'm sure there are blackspots in
some parts of London, in which case I'd suggest that TfL encourage
retailers to become Oyster Ticket Stops, perhaps by having some kind of
introductory offer for the first year or something along those lines.


I've long suggested that there should be dedicated Oyster top up collection
points at locations such as bus stations, and probably machines to charge
the cards too. It always seems a little odd when you see bus stations
without a ticket machine of any kind in sight.


If TfL wish for everyone to use Oyster (and I have no particularl axe to
grind on this, I use one myself) it does seem odd that the vast majority
of ticket machines at tube stations still sell cash tickets only. There are
very few (if any?) Oyster ticket machines around to sell new ticket (I know
you can top an existing card using some of the machines). I can also see
the argument for raising the cash fares much higher than Oyster fares on
buses, because someone paying a cash fare takes longer than using Oyster
therefore delaying everyone on the bus (and often other road users as well)
so it is fair enough in my view that they pay for that. However on the tube
I really don't see the need for anything like the premium that is charged.
The extra cost of selling paper tickets over Oyster would be quite minimal
as all the infrastructure for using paper tickets (mainly ticket gates)
still needs to exist for anyone using a National Rail ticket, for example.

Jon.
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Old December 31st 06, 03:30 PM posted to uk.transport.london
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Default London TravelWatch criticises cash fare rises in London

Jon Combe wrote:

I can also see
the argument for raising the cash fares much higher than Oyster fares on
buses, because someone paying a cash fare takes longer than using Oyster
therefore delaying everyone on the bus (and often other road users as well)
so it is fair enough in my view that they pay for that.


Valid point. However, in Central London the tickets are sold from
machines, so that argument doesn't apply (though a different one about
funding those machines of course does).

However on the tube
I really don't see the need for anything like the premium that is charged.
The extra cost of selling paper tickets over Oyster would be quite minimal
as all the infrastructure for using paper tickets (mainly ticket gates)
still needs to exist for anyone using a National Rail ticket, for example.


Does it really? Could it, perhaps, be replaced with a machine at each
London terminal only where one could obtain a single-use Oyster card
(or one for a deposit to be returned to the same machine on departure)
by swiping the ODTC, just as is done manually at present for those
arriving with SPORTIS-issued ODTCs that won't work the barriers?

Neil

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Old January 1st 07, 06:36 PM posted to uk.transport.london
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Default London TravelWatch criticises cash fare rises in London

Neil Williams wrote:
Jon Combe wrote:

I can also see
the argument for raising the cash fares much higher than Oyster fares on
buses, because someone paying a cash fare takes longer than using Oyster
therefore delaying everyone on the bus (and often other road users as well)
so it is fair enough in my view that they pay for that.


Valid point. However, in Central London the tickets are sold from
machines, so that argument doesn't apply (though a different one about
funding those machines of course does).

However on the tube
I really don't see the need for anything like the premium that is charged.
The extra cost of selling paper tickets over Oyster would be quite minimal
as all the infrastructure for using paper tickets (mainly ticket gates)
still needs to exist for anyone using a National Rail ticket, for example.


Does it really? Could it, perhaps, be replaced with a machine at each
London terminal only where one could obtain a single-use Oyster card
(or one for a deposit to be returned to the same machine on departure)
by swiping the ODTC, just as is done manually at present for those
arriving with SPORTIS-issued ODTCs that won't work the barriers?


Interesting idea. In that vein, I've always thought that automatic
Oyster vending machines at major tourist entry points like Heathrow,
King's Cross, Victoria etc. would be a good idea - visitors could go to
them, stick in a tenner, get an Oyster card with the appropriate amount
of credit on it, and return it to the same machine when finished, their
3 deposit being returned to them.

--
Dave Arquati
www.alwaystouchout.com - Transport projects in London


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Old January 1st 07, 10:12 PM posted to uk.transport.london
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Default London TravelWatch criticises cash fare rises in London

Dave Arquati wrote:

Interesting idea. In that vein, I've always thought that automatic
Oyster vending machines at major tourist entry points like Heathrow,
King's Cross, Victoria etc. would be a good idea - visitors could go to
them, stick in a tenner, get an Oyster card with the appropriate amount
of credit on it, and return it to the same machine when finished, their
3 deposit being returned to them.


Absolutely. With this kind of thing in place I think I'd withdraw all
my objections to the paper penalty, and perhaps even advocate the idea
of going Oyster-only to save cost on maintaining barriers and stuff.
Singapore does, though there are multiple types of card, some only
valid for single journeys with a lower deposit. I'm not sure there
really needs to be, though.

Neil



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