I lived in London for a decade and moved away because I'd had enough of grumpy people and ridiculous prices. I go up there for meetings a couple of times a month though. I buy a combined rail and London transport ticket so I've not had to purchase a single Tube (subway/Metro) ticket for many months. Yesterday, though, I did need to buy one. And I nearly fell over with shock. A single in Zone 1 (basically the cheapest ride you can buy) is £4. That's absolutely unbelievable! If I was a tourist I'd be totally shocked. (That's 8 bucks for an American tourist.) I was ranting about this to a friend whom I met up with later in the evening. He is a resident so has an Oyster pre-pay card. This is a rechargeable card that all residents use. Single journeys using an Oyster card are just £1.50. So casual purchasers are being seriously discriminated against. There's nothing to stop visitors buying Oyster cards for themselves and if you plan on visiting London and using public transport (which you're bound to need to do) then you'd be mad not to buy one. They're available on-line  before coming to the UK or from Tube stations and many shops when you get here. (The link above is for US tourists, click here and select your country of origin if you're not from the US.) Get yourself an Oyster card or get shafted.... Personally I think they should just stop even offering single use tickets and make people buy an Oyster card - the people who are losing out are those who don't realise that Oyster cards are available and so much cheaper - ie foreignors who struggle to read English. There's little obvious information explaining how much cheaper fares are with an Oyster card. That seems very unfair, descriminating against unwary visitors...

Me? I didn't fancy queueing to buy an Oyster card so I caught the bus instead... which cost £2. Bargain?!

2 thoughts on “Maybe it’s because I’m not a Londoner that I get to pay through the nose on the Tube

  1. Us Londoners have to have some benefits from living in 1 of the most expensive cities in the world & don't forget we are funding a sizeable chunk of the Olympics out of our council tax bills for the benefit of the whole country!

    We all know about Ken's policy of pricing unwanted cars off the roads, this trick hopefully helps price unprepared outsiders away from the massively overcrowded public transport system. After all, who wants to be tripping over someone who doesn't know what their doing on the tube!!!!

  2. Hi MC. Thanks for taking the time to comment... always appreciated.

    I know what you mean... two backpackers stood on the 'walk' side of the escalators were driving all the locals crazy when I was there. I have no issue with trying to change peoples' behaviour with different pricing policies... but the lack of info was a real issue. That's not fair. Info about the different options (Oyster, bus fair, tube fair etc)needs to be more widely available for all users - locals or out of towners - in my opinion. I can't think it's a good thing for London if tourists' first impression when they get on the tube at Heathrow is 'Blimey this place is incredibly expensive!'

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