The capital’s transport body Transport for London has announced the sale of the 10 millionth Oyster card since the scheme launched 3 years ago.
The electronic ticketing scheme has seen cash payments on London’s Underground and buses has fallen to just five per cent and allows for up to 40 passengers a minute to pass through underground payment gates compared to 15 a minute for paper tickets.
Hailing the scheme’s success Mayor of London Ken Livingstone said Oyster was “bringing huge time savings to passengers and the transport system”.
Despite the success of the scheme passengers are unable to use their Oyster cards on mainline rail services as the Train Operating Companies are yet to accept Oyster pre-pay.
In 2006 Mayor Livingstone made £20 million available to the Train Operating Companies to finance installation of the technology to accept the pay-as-you-go system at every station in zones 1-6.
The Mayor urged the train operators to take up the funding offer which runs out of January 31st saying “it seems amazing that these companies haven’t yet agreed to a deal which would meet their capital expenditure and would save their customers time, money and inconvenience.”
Mr Livingstone said the companies “are in talks with TfL about adopting Oyster and particular progress is being made by some towards selling Oyster products outside of London. But what London travellers really want is to be allowed to use Oyster pay-as-you-go on their rail services.”