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Oyster card help

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Motoring
4 replies 840 views
silvercarsilvercar Forumite, Board Guide
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Motoring
Tfl give some advice and the website contradicts it, if there are experts around I would be grateful for your help.

We live within the zone 6 bus zone, Served by some LT buses and a BR station that counts as zone 6 for one-day travelcards etc. We have no tube station nearby and pay our rates to Hertfordshire rather than a London borough.

My son is 16 and attends school in London (bus ride away). Up to now he has had an oystercard that gives him free travel on buses. The new 16-17 oystercard that we have applied for will give him half rate bus and tube fares. (Though most of his friends are getting free buses as they live within the London boundary. Grrrr!). The Tfl phone line said I can top up his oytercard with PAYG online so there willbe money on it to pay his bus fares to school. The Tfl website says I can only top up if he takes his oystercard to a designated tube station to add the top up to his card. We have no tube stations near us. To travel to one would mean an extra bus journey there and back, so how do I top up his oystercard?
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Replies

  • cattiecattie Forumite
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    Hope this helps, I have someone staying with me at the moment who has an oyster card & they top theirs up at the local newsagent where they sell travelcards.
    The bigger the bargain, the better I feel.

    I should mention that there's only one of me, don't confuse me with others of the same name.
  • I'd caution waiting for the advice of others as I'd freely admit I'm not exactly sure how my PAYG Oyster card works, but here goes...

    I have mine set so that once it goes below a fiver, it tops up with £20 off my credit card. The first time I activated the top up, I had to go to a specific underground station that I'd nominated. Since then, it seems to just happen automatically. It's possible that it's only actioned when I use the underground (versus bus), but I'm sure that I only had to use the nominated station for the first top-up. For example, it topped-up Tuesday night/Wednesday morning and I definitely didn't use the underground station that I originally nominated.

    Not sure if that's any use? Guess it depends on whether it's actioned automatically or just when I next touch into an underground station...
    I really must stop loafing and get back to work...
  • waster_2waster_2 Forumite
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    In order to activate the top up you can either top it up at a vendor i.e a newsagent or similar that is authorised to sell LT products including Oyster Cards and their top ups. Or;

    If topped up online you need to have the top up added to your Oyster Card. This is done by nominating an underground station and the Oyster card then being “swiped” across the reader at the nominated station. The top up will then have been added. The top up must be done within a certain timescale (7 days from memory) of “purchasing” online or otherwise it is erased from the system. Your credit or debit card is only debited if you complete the top up within the specified period. I assume that the reason for this is that TfL are able to programme their computer to expect a top up at an underground station whereas to try and be 100% accurate with the location of an authorised venor may be more problematic. Although why the system cannot be programed to recognise the card at any terminal I know not why.

    On the issue of you being disappointed that your son does not enjoy the free fares like his peers I can only say that us folk living within the GLA boundary pay for this through the Mayor's precept on our Council Tax. It would not be right, I am sure you would agrre(?), for residents from outside the GLA boundary to be even further subsidised by their “neighbours” inside. Additionally, I am not sure that when our 16 - 18 year olds go to herts they enjoy half price travel on the buses, or do they?
  • silvercarsilvercar Forumite, Board Guide
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    On the issue of you being disappointed that your son does not enjoy the free fares like his peers I can only say that us folk living within the GLA boundary pay for this through the Mayor's precept on our Council Tax. It would not be right, I am sure you would agrre(?), for residents from outside the GLA boundary to be even further subsidised by their “neighbours” inside. Additionally, I am not sure that when our 16 - 18 year olds go to herts they enjoy half price travel on the buses, or do they?

    Anyone of the correct age can get a Hertsaver card (for £5 a year) and get half fare buses. Also we were entitled to free transport under the age of 16, it seems unfair to discriminate by where you live - our taxes are very high. I don't see why transport pricing should depend on where you live. "Your" kids should get the same discounts on herts transport as we should get on london transport. Its not like we are in a different world we are less than 2 miles from the boundary. If we can go to "your" schools (and there have been court cases (greenwich - lewisham ruling from memory) ruling you cannot discriminate by borough in allocating school places) we need the transport provision that goes with it. Our LEA pays, out of its budget, money to your LEAs when we go to "your" schools, so your actually making a profit on us.
    Usually found at a vaccine centre 💉
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debate House Prices & the Economy, House Buying, Renting & Selling, Mortgages and Endowments, In My Home incl DIY, Overseas Holidays & Student boards.
    I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly.
    Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to [email protected]. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com.
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