part time rail season tickets

Back in August (2020) announcements were made about part time rail season tickets.
Now that we're finally heading back to work, many of us 3 days a week, we're faced with the prospect of buying annual season tickets (>£6,000) which will go part unused, or pay for daily returns three days a week which will cost more than the already exorbitant cost of an annual season ticket.
Or, we drive - never mind the environmental consequences, traffic congestion, time lost that might've been spent working from laptops, etc.
According to GWR staff, the TOCs are as keen as passengers to implement these 3 day season tickets. So why is the Dept for Transport dragging its feet? Surely it wants the economy to start again?
I've contacted DfT, the Transport Secretary, my local MP, and the Rail Ombudsman and had no response so far. 
Would like to hear from others in similar situations.

Replies

  • edited 25 February 2021 at 2:43PM
    NaughtiusMaximusNaughtiusMaximus Forumite
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    edited 25 February 2021 at 2:43PM
    By part time season tickets I assume you mean one which allows you to make 3 return journeys per week over a particular route rather than an unlimited number as is the case with regular season tickets. Is that even possible with current technology in place with the rail companies, how would they track when you've reached your limit of 3 for the week? 

    You could potentially have tickets valid only for 3 specific days of the week, say Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, but that's of limited use as in many cases the days full time employees will have to physically be in the office will vary from week to week, that's certainly the plan with my employer.

  • I think the OP is referring to 'carnet tickets', in effect a book of tickets at a discount to buying one at a time e.g. 10 tickets for the price of 9. GWR are one of the operators that do offer carnet tickets, but unfortunately not Cross Country on my local line! Passenger rail campaign group Railfuture have compiled some information on this (see under Season Tickets):
    If (as predicted) more office workers are commuting only part-time post the pandemic, then you would hope that all train operators would see the benefit of offering carnet tickets.  
     
  • Andy_LAndy_L Forumite
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    FCA_ACF said:
    According to GWR staff, the TOCs are as keen as passengers to implement these 3 day season tickets. So why is the Dept for Transport dragging its feet? Surely it wants the economy to start again?
    I've contacted DfT, the Transport Secretary, my local MP, and the Rail Ombudsman and had no response so far. 
    Would like to hear from others in similar situations.
    Why do the TOCs need to wait for the DoT to do something? Can't they just crack on with a 3 day season ticket?
  • I understand that unless specified in a franchise agreement, the TOCs would need authorisation from the DfT to sell carnet tickets / flexible season tickets.
  • KeithPKeithP Forumite
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    ...and the franchise agreements have effectively been torn up due to the current crisis.

    The DfT are running the show now.
  • jon81ukjon81uk Forumite
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    FCA_ACF said:
    Back in August (2020) announcements were made about part time rail season tickets.
    Now that we're finally heading back to work, many of us 3 days a week, we're faced with the prospect of buying annual season tickets (>£6,000) which will go part unused, or pay for daily returns three days a week which will cost more than the already exorbitant cost of an annual season ticket.
    Or, we drive - never mind the environmental consequences, traffic congestion, time lost that might've been spent working from laptops, etc.
    According to GWR staff, the TOCs are as keen as passengers to implement these 3 day season tickets. So why is the Dept for Transport dragging its feet? Surely it wants the economy to start again?
    I've contacted DfT, the Transport Secretary, my local MP, and the Rail Ombudsman and had no response so far. 
    Would like to hear from others in similar situations.
    In general I agree the entire rail ticketing system needs rebuilding, but I don't see the DfT putting the effort in.

    But have you actually done all the maths to check what is cheapest for your journey?

    For example for me a day return into London is £21.80. 
    A weekly season is £95.90 so only worth getting if I do more than four journeys.
    A monthly season is £368.30 so only worth it if more than 17 days used a month.
    An annual is £3836 so need 176 trips, which if you take off five weeks holiday from the year and divide the 176 by 47 weeks its 3.74 journeys a week, so still need to be doing four a week to be cheaper than day returns.

    Yes it feels awful buying loads of £21.80 tickets, but everyones commute is different so check it for your options. But I'd love some kind of carnet, or the abolition of peak pricing.


  • KeithP said:
    ...and the franchise agreements have effectively been torn up due to the current crisis.

    The DfT are running the show now.

    Of course that's right franchising has effectively ended, but we still have the same operators providing services via Emergency Recovery Measures Agreements (until March 2022) where operating costs are covered by the government. What these ERMAs say about carnet tickets, I don't know. Possibly some of the provisions of the previous franchises were carried forward?  
  • MobeerMobeer Forumite
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    I have been pondering if I could do 2 days a week, but alternating weeks of Thursday+Friday and then Monday+Tuesday. That would allow 1 weekly ticket to cover two weeks commuting.

  • KerfuffleIncKerfuffleInc Forumite
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    Mobeer said:
    I have been pondering if I could do 2 days a week, but alternating weeks of Thursday+Friday and then Monday+Tuesday. That would allow 1 weekly ticket to cover two weeks commuting.

    That's actually a very good idea - thanks!

    I do still have fingers crossed that some form of carnet ticketing is offered. I can understand their reluctance as at the end of the day it'll mean less money for them but this is really where some form of regulation should kick in. The changes in remote working is going to help a bit with overcrowding already but if they could rationalise the ticket pricing it would really do a lot to discourage people driving.
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