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    Top Tube Ticket Tips!
    • #1
    • 25th Sep 05, 8:12 PM
    Top Tube Ticket Tips! 25th Sep 05 at 8:12 PM
    I work for our lovely London Underground and i thought i'd show you guys how to save money by choosing your ticket wisely...

    Firstly, let me say that this is not about discounts, this is about taking the time to consider your ticket and making the right choice. Thousands of Londoners waste money by rushing into the tube station and buying the first ticket that comes to mind. What you need to do is, pause, think about your travel and calculate the best fare for your needs. If this seems like too much hassle you can always go to the ticket clerk and ask them. With a few basic travel details they can advise you of the best value ticket. If you don't want to talk to us, just pay a visit to the leaflet rack at your local station. There is a leaflet called "Fares and Tickets" this will give you every possible fare and ticket for the tube, buses, DLR and the tram. You can then study this at your leisure.

    For those of you that are interested, here are my top tube ticket tips...

    Use an Oyster card for the odd journey

    - If you do not use the tube that often and only make the odd journey, then an oyster card is your best bet. Single and return tickets on oyster card are ALWAYS cheaper then buying a normal single or return ticket, without exception. E.g. an adult single journey from zone 1 to zone 6 on a saturday will cost you 3.80 on oyster you'll pay 2. Your oyster card will ALWAYS charge you the CHEAPEST fare, so if you need a ticket for the whole day, just use your card as normal, you'll still get the best value.

    Weekly tickets may be cheaper

    - If you buy a daily travelcard every day, add up the cost over a week and see if it is cheaper to just buy the weekly ticket. E.g. zone 1 & 2 off peak travelcard five days a week will set you back 23.50. The weekly ticket is 21.40 with the added bonus that it can be used before 9:30am, unlike the daily off peak ticket.

    Try a three day ticket instead of buying everyday

    - If you are buying daily travelcards to travel during the peak but don't need a whole week, you could be better off with a three day ticket. E.g. zone 1 & 2 daily peak travelcard is 6 x 3 days = 18. A three day peak zone 1 & 2 is 15.

    Monthlies can be cheaper than dailies

    - If you buy a weekly ticket every week, add up the cost over a month
    and see if it is cheaper to buy the monthly ticket. E.g. zone 1 - 6 weekly travelcard four times a month will cost 158.00. The monthly ticket is 151.70.

    Annuals can be cheaper than monthlies

    - If you buy a monthly ticket every month, add up the cost over a year
    and see if it is cheaper to buy an annual ticket. E.g. zone 1 & 2 monthly is 82.20 x 12 months = 986.40. The annual travelcard will cost you 856.

    Take the kids for cheaper travel

    - If you're travelling just for the day, consider taking the kids. Family travelcards are ALWAYS cheaper then normal adult travelcards. The maximum number of adults is 2 and children is 4. You do not all have to be related to use this ticket, but the tickets are not valid separately, so make sure that you plan to stay together. If you have a toddler that is too young to have to pay, it sounds daft, but it is still cheaper to buy them a ticket as part of a family travelcard! E.g. zone 1 - 4 off peak travelcard is 5.20 for one adult. A family travelcard is 3.40 per adult and 80p per child, that's 4.20 for one adult and one child. These tickets are only valid off peak. On weekends it's even better, as kids go free on a family travelcard. So that's just 3.40 for one adult and one child.

    The above examples are just that, so don't take all this at face value, although every price i give is correct. Just remember that the savings will vary depending on the zones you travel through, the day you travel on and the time of day that you travel. You will need to do your own calculations.

    Anyway, my brain is turning to mush with all this fare calculating! So i'll leave it there. You get the general idea. It's worth thinking before you travel. If I come up with any other deals i'll add them in. If anyone has any questions i'll do my best to answer them.

    Hope this makes a difference to someone at least...

    Happy travelling!

    Last edited by MSE Archna; 12-10-2005 at 11:47 AM.
Page 1
    • Quasar
    • By Quasar 25th Sep 05, 9:28 PM
    • 114,556 Posts
    • 237,073 Thanks
    • #2
    • 25th Sep 05, 9:28 PM
    • #2
    • 25th Sep 05, 9:28 PM
    Hi Saffie!

    Chances are that we have met. I do a lot of surveys for LUL, and I have been to every single station in the system, several times over! I know all about the various tickets, of course, but I think your post will be of great help to many other forum members, as it's so easy to get a ticket/travelcard which is more expensive than actually needed.

    Dear Karma, I have a whole list of people you missed.
  • Saffie
    • #3
    • 26th Sep 05, 2:49 PM
    • #3
    • 26th Sep 05, 2:49 PM
    Those of you who do buy an annual ticket, don't forget about the fares revision! This normally comes into affect on the first sunday in January. If you renew your annual ticket just before this every year, your fare will always be a year behind the actual fare!

    • rdwarr
    • By rdwarr 2nd Oct 05, 2:12 PM
    • 5,712 Posts
    • 6,500 Thanks
    • #4
    • 2nd Oct 05, 2:12 PM
    • #4
    • 2nd Oct 05, 2:12 PM
    I thought the idea of an Oyster card was that one always paid the lowest fare. Are you saying that this is not the case?
  • black-saturn
    • #5
    • 2nd Oct 05, 4:02 PM
    • #5
    • 2nd Oct 05, 4:02 PM
    My boyfriends daughter has an Oyster card which means she can travel for free on London transport. I think all under 16's living in London can get it.
  • Saffie
    • #6
    • 3rd Oct 05, 10:01 AM
    • #6
    • 3rd Oct 05, 10:01 AM
    There's a lot of confusion about oyster card. Basically, any ticket that you can buy, you can buy on oyster and it remains the same ticket. You use that ticket in exactly the same way as you would a paper ticket. Oyster card DOES offer you the cheapest ticket, but you have to understand how. A travelcard is a travelcard and the price of that travelcard is the price, it makes no difference in this example whether you have a paper ticket of an oyster card. ALL travelcard prices remain the same regardless of what your ticket looks like.

    Oyster will save you money on single, return and extension tickets. So if that's what you normally buy, then oyster WILL save you money. But remember that an oyster card will "cap" at the price of a daily travelcard if you travel around all day, again the price of this daily travelcard is the price, so there's no saving. What oyster does do in this instance is make sure that the price you pay is the cheapest possible fare for that day, so you don't have to worry about which ticket to buy.

    Now there is one thing that i feel i should clear up at this moment, there is a lot of confusion about the "capping" of fares. Firstly let me state that this DOES work, but you do have to do your bit! If you do not read your card at the beginning AND the end of EVERY journey you WILL confuse the system and end up being over charged. Think of like this, if you ask me to calculate the cheapest fare for you, you will have to tell me what journeys you are making. If you don't tell me about every journey then i'm not going to be able to give you the correct price. Reading your card at the beginning and the end of every journey is basically telling the oyster card your journeys, so that when calculating the cheapest fare, it has all the facts. The oyster will charge you the cheapest fare, but remember, the cheapest fare may be a combination of tickets, not just a travelcard.

    I hope this helps...

    The trick to getting the cheapest ticket, is just as i stated in my original post, you have to take the time to work out your journeys and calculate YOUR cheapest fare.

  • Saffie
    • #7
    • 3rd Oct 05, 10:21 AM
    • #7
    • 3rd Oct 05, 10:21 AM
    My boyfriends daughter has an Oyster card which means she can travel for free on London transport. I think all under 16's living in London can get it.
    by black-saturn
    There is confusion with this one too!! The under 16s oyster card entitles the holder to free travel on all London Buses NOT London Underground.

    The child oyster card can be used as I.D. to buy child rate tickets for the tube. Be warned, you will have to get this child oyster card at some time, as this will eventually replace the old style child photo cards. So if you haven't yet got one, you are advised to do so before the change over date is announced. When this date is released there will be a huge backlog of these cards to be issued, so get in before the rush!

    Also, these cards are eventually to replace the child paper tube tickets. Many people don't realise that if you have this card for your child, then any tickets that you want to buy for them should be put onto the card and used in the same way as the adult oyster. You can also add pre pay to your child's card, which also works in the same way as normal pre pay.

    • alanrowell
    • By alanrowell 4th Oct 05, 3:12 PM
    • 5,293 Posts
    • 2,032 Thanks
    • #8
    • 4th Oct 05, 3:12 PM
    • #8
    • 4th Oct 05, 3:12 PM
    - If you buy a monthly ticket every month, add up the cost over a year
    and see if it is cheaper to buy an annual ticket. E.g. zone 1 & 2 monthly is 82.20 x 12 months = 986.40. The annual travelcard will cost you 856.
    When I had a season ticket, I did the maths & found that I only needed 10 monthly tickets plus a few daily tickets.

    This was because I rarely travelled using the season ticket on public holidays or when I was on holiday and I was able to defer buying the next month's ticket if I wasn't going to travel (eg, ticket finished on a Friday, new one bought on a Monday).

    Plus of course I then didn't have to pay for a year's travel in one lump sum.
    • By MUHAMID 4th Oct 05, 3:50 PM
    • 641 Posts
    • 534 Thanks
    • #9
    • 4th Oct 05, 3:50 PM
    • #9
    • 4th Oct 05, 3:50 PM
    thanks for your advise,saffie
  • lightbulb
    Excellent post! Regarding Oyster, do all stations have a reader? I recall exiting at Seven Kings station the other day and didnt see any barriers of any kind, would the readers be stand-alone around the station foyer?
  • chewbacca
    thanks for the info,
    could you clarify what kind of ticket i should get for a weekend away from friday to sunday, to include travel into london from windsor and around london sightseeing on the tube.
    just wondered if there was a combined ticket for this type of travel or any special offers.

  • Felix the Cash
    Oyster IS cheaper. Hmmm... I wonder why?
    Happiness is cheap!
  • mcbazza
    I know these are tube tips, but, don't forget they also apply to bus travel.

    I commute from N.London to Watford each day.
    Using my Oystercard it's only 1 to work (peak), and 80p home (off-peak).
    Non-Oyster would be 1.20 to/from work.
    Oystercard gives me a daily saving of 60p (1.80 as opposed to 2.40).

    Bizarrely, a weekly ticket would cost me 11.
    5 x 1.80 = 10.80
    So, it's cheaper (for me) not to buy a weekly pass. I don't need to use buses at weekends.

    Monthly ticket is 42.30.
    4 x 10.80 = 43.20
    So, it's only marginally cheaper for me to buy a monthly pass than it is to use my pre-pay Oystercard. But, every now and again I like to cycle to work, so if I didn't use my montly pass regularly, the small discount would soon be lost.

    FYI: When I was working at EDS in 98/99 I had the opportunity to travel to London Underground's computer centre @ Baker Street. I was (then) an OpenVMS specialist, and their computers ran on it (probably still do). I happened to chance upon what since became Oystercard and was told all about this contactless card system. Thing is, they were telling everyone that it would be able to read the card from inside your pocket/purse. Never mind. I'm still a fan of that little card!
    Last edited by mcbazza; 13-10-2005 at 8:10 AM.
  • IanD
    You''l need to be quick to use the family travelcard as it is being abolished from January 2nd. From then, the journey I took at the weekend (Tube to Watford, Amersham and Chesham ie zones 1 to D) which cost me 7.40 for me, my partner and 2 kids (slightly cheaper than normal as my partner doesn't need a ticket for zone 1) will cost 13.80. Thanks, Chairman Ken, that's one way to encourage families back on to the tube.
  • apcorbett
    But when the Family Travelcard is withdrawn, isn't the compensation that you will be able to buy Child 1DTC at 1.00?
    Andy Corbett

  • IanD
    When the family travelcard is withdrawn, you can buy a child 1dtc for 1 - but at the moment, it's only 80p or TOTALLY FREE at weekends. The Adult family TC costs 4.00 for z1-6. The normal adult TC (which you'll have to buy form Jan 2nd) is currently 6. This will rise by "4%" to 6.30 plus you have to pay 1 for each child. So at weekends, the increase in cost for 2 adults and 2 children will be a staggering 82.5%! (from 8 to 14.60)
  • krishna
    thanks for the info,
    could you clarify what kind of ticket i should get for a weekend away from friday to sunday, to include travel into london from windsor and around london sightseeing on the tube.
    just wondered if there was a combined ticket for this type of travel or any special offers.
    by chewbacca
    You can get a three day travel card (off peak if travelling after 9:30 on the friday, any time on the weekend). Doesn't always work out cheaper than separate one day cards, but never more expensive. Not sure if you can do this with a National Rail extension, though if available this is likely to be the cheapest way to do it. I know when I bought a ticket from Gatwick on Thameslink it only cost me an additional 1 over cost of a single to convert it into a one day travel card.
  • lamnicholas
    Another tip for those buying annual travelcards from Tube stations... don't!

    Buy exactly the same from a South West Trains station and also receive 6 free unlimited weekend travel tickets on the South West Trains network! (other Train Companies may offer their own deals).

    This is in addition to your Annual Gold Card benefits such as 1/3 off National Rail fares in the South East, 3 First Class upgrades and discount Day Travelcards. Of course it means you cannot get your ticket issued on Oyster
    • manhattan
    • By manhattan 6th Nov 05, 10:14 PM
    • 1,391 Posts
    • 401 Thanks
    i will be travelling with the family on new years eve 6pm sat 31st dec and returning home 2nd jan 6.30pm.

    we only need to travel between kings cross and docklands

    does anyone know what would be the cheapest tickets to buy for 2 adults and 1 child of 10 and 1 child of 4? on the above dates.

    do children under 5 go free?
    Last edited by manhattan; 06-11-2005 at 10:21 PM.
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 17th Nov 05, 11:29 AM
    • 38,870 Posts
    • 162,323 Thanks
    If I want to travel with my son (age 15) how do our 2 oyster cards know we are travelling together and should be charged the family off-peak travel card rates rather than separately? From zone 6 it is cheaper to buy 1 adult+ 1 child off-peak all zones travel card than 1 adult travel card.

    The adverts tell us oyster will always know the cheapest fare, but it can't be that clever, can it?
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