Mayor of London Ken Livingstone has announced plans to giveaway 100,000 Oyster cards on a first come, first served basis to Londoners who don’t already hold a card.
As part of the promotion, 100,000 Oyster cards will be given away through national, local and community press adverts, targeted at London’s communities where Oyster take-up is lower.
Earlier this year the Mayor was attacked for his new fares regime which saw cash fares soar while Oyster users benefit from cheaper fares.
There are an estimated ten million cards in circulation with 38 million journeys a week paid for by Oyster making it the most successful electronic payment card of its type in the World.
Mayor Livingstone said the cards had “revolutionised the way people travel in London” adding “fares are cheaper using Oyster and it has speeded up the network by reducing queues.”
To ensure they receive the value possible visitors to London from selected overseas cities are able to buy an Oyster card before arriving in the capital.
Liberal Democrat London Assembly Transport spokesman Geoff Pope said his party had “long told the Mayor that he needs to encourage the poorest communities in London to take up the use of Oystercard” but questioned whether “a general advertising campaign really the best way to go about it.”