Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Oyster is your world

Traveling around London can rip holes in your wallet and see the pounds flooding out. Make sure that you are doing all you can to make the most of travel around London.

Paper versus Oyster
First off, the oyster card offers you a cheaper fair than buying a paper ticket. To touch in on the bus is £1.45 off peak compared to £2.40 with a ticket. Similarly, on the tube in zone 1 the off-peak fare is £2.20 compared to £4.70. Oyster automatically works out the cheapest fare for all your journeys in one day so you'll never pay more than the price of a day travelcard.

 Tap in, tap out

Season tickets
If you travel regularly or commute around London, a season ticket (weekly, monthly or annually) will usually provide the best deal. They allow unlimited travel in different zones of London. Renew your season ticket just before annual fare rises, so any price increases are postponed for a year.

However, if you don’t travel that regularly it might be best to try a month pay as you go, followed by a month with a pass to sniff out the cheapest deal for you.

Travel outside peak times
Peak hours are between 6.30 – 9.30am and 4 –7pm. Pay-as-you-go customers will be capped at the daily peak fare between 4.30 and 9.30am, and the daily off-peak fare after 9.30am until 4.30am the next day.

Alternative transport
Depending on how you like to present yourself in the office in the morning, think about cycling. If you have a Barclays bike docking station nearby, an annual pass of £90 might be the best option. Alternatively, have a look at the Cycle to Work scheme to see if your company might be interested in deducting a tax-free bike from your salary.

There is nothing like a brisk walk around London, but it all depends on how far you are willing to venture. Urban walking route planners are available online for the quickest path.

Concessions are available for people with disabilities, over 60s, war veterans, children, students, and people who are unemployed or on job seekers’ allowance. Remember that railcards can be synced with Oyster cards to provide a third off the price of all single off-peak journeys.

Check out the TFL website for more information and try out some different options to see what works for your commute.

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