London’s passenger watchdog has “warmly welcomed” news that Oyster Pay As You Go cards will be accepted on rail and services within London from January 2010.
The card can also be used on Thames Clipper services from today. A single journey costs £5.30 however Oyster pay as you go holders will pay £4.77. Passengers with a Travelcard on their Oyster will pay just £3.55.
Johnson has made the extension of the Oyster pay as you go to rail and river services a key commitment of his Mayoralty, but critics have condemned a failure to deliver more quickly on his promises.
In April year he announced plans to “revolutionise” the capital’s river-based transport services. Announcing a ‘concordat’ between Transport for London, boat operators, pier owner and local councils, the Mayor said the introduction of Oyster “as well as providing clearer signage to the piers and services available will make it much easier for Londoners to travel on the river.”
Appearing alongside Transport Secretary Lord Adonis this morning, Mayor of London Boris Johnson confirmed the long-awaited adoption of the cards by rail companies operating services within Greater London.
Johnson said he was “delighted to be able to announce that the Oysterisation of all London’s commuter rail services is to become a reality. This combined with the news about Thames Clippers services means Oyster will be all over the capital. It truly will be the only ticket Londoners need to get around town.”
Although it claims Oyster pay as you go will offer the cheapest single “in the overwhelming majority of cases”, TfL is advising passengers check the best fare before travelling and warns that holders of National Railcards may find paper rail tickets cheaper.
Transport Secretary, Andrew Adonis, said: “If we are to encourage more people onto public transport we must make it as easy and convenient to use as possible. That is exactly what Oyster has done in London and why extending pay as you go to rail services is so important.”
TfL has unveiled a new ‘world of Oyster’ map (see below) showing the combination of routes where the cards will now be accepted.
Sharon Grant, Chair, London TravelWatch, said the development was “great news and a new dawn for passengers in London.” The watchdog has long called for train companies to accept the cards.
Grant added: “Oyster PAYG is a great product, and a success story which has really benefitted Londoners. However, people will need to check to make sure they are getting the cheapest ticket possible, and we hope that there will be enough opportunities for people to purchase and top up their Oyster PAYG: this has not always been the case in all parts of London.”