A Few Questions About Oyster Cards

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Searle

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Firstly if this is meant to be in the London Underground section, sorry about that, I wasn't sure which one to put it in :P

I've read through the TFL website for information, but some of the stuff is still a bit confusing, so I just have a few quick questions about buying oyster cards.

On the 13th August I'm going to get to Victoria for about 8:30, and I'll arrive at Kings Cross. To get across London I'm going to buy an Oyster Card and then use that on the tube.

I presume there are Oyster Ticket Machines at KGX, and that I can get a new Oyster Card there. If so, is there a minimum amount of money I have to put on it for it to work?

Also, I have a 16-25 YP Railcard, and it says on TFL I'll be able to get a discount for the oyster if I have it on there. Is there an option while getting the card to load the Railcard onto it, and do I need any proof of having the Railcard?

And finally, as KGX is a huge station, can anyone roughly estimate the queue time for the ticket machines, as I'm gonna be right in the peak time.

Thanks for any answers!
 
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Daniel

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I presume there are Oyster Ticket Machines at KGX, and that I can get a new Oyster Card there. If so, is there a minimum amount of money I have to put on it for it to work?

Also, I have a 16-25 YP Railcard, and it says on TFL I'll be able to get a discount for the oyster if I have it on there. Is there an option while getting the card to load the Railcard onto it, and do I need any proof of having the Railcard?

And finally, as KGX is a huge station, can anyone roughly estimate the queue time for the ticket machines, as I'm gonna be right in the peak time.

You can get an oyster card from any "AFM" ticket machines - they're the smaller ones with a touch-screen.

The card costs £5 (refundable) and you have to put a minimum of £5 PAYG credit on it when you buy it, too.

You can get the railcard discount added at the ticket office window. You might swell just queue at the ticket office window and buy your card there and get it added at the same time, no point queueing twice.

Peak at KGX, long queues but they move fairly quickly. I'd say 5 minutes or so at the machines, 10 minutes or so at the window, (assuming you're using the Tube/Northern ticket halls, or the Western and a Eurostar hasn't just arrived)!
 

SS4

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I presume there are Oyster Ticket Machines at KGX, and that I can get a new Oyster Card there. If so, is there a minimum amount of money I have to put on it for it to work?

You should be able to get one at the LUL ticket office but I don't think the NR one does (Euston does if you find it easier to walk). I don't know how much they'll cost but you'll I'd guess £5 for the card as a refundable deposit and £5 of credit.

The places that sell cards can be found at http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tickets/14433.aspx

Also, I have a 16-25 YP Railcard, and it says on TFL I'll be able to get a discount for the oyster if I have it on there. Is there an option while getting the card to load the Railcard onto it, and do I need any proof of having the Railcard?

You need to have both a registered Oyster and the railcard to get the discount loaded on and you must carry your railcard when using the Oyster which becomes non-transferable. Your Oyster card won't be registered if you get it from a station so you'd need to fill in a form which you can get from the ticket office.
Unfortunately I've no idea how Oyster deals with the lack of a minimum fare in August.

And finally, as KGX is a huge station, can anyone roughly estimate the queue time for the ticket machines, as I'm gonna be right in the peak time.

Thanks for any answers!

Afraid I have no idea. You might be able to get away with ordering the card online since you've got a bit of time spare.

For more on Oyster check out http://www.oyster-rail.org.uk/ (and apologies for the vague answers :()
 

swt_passenger

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Also, I have a 16-25 YP Railcard, and it says on TFL I'll be able to get a discount for the oyster if I have it on there. Is there an option while getting the card to load the Railcard onto it, and do I need any proof of having the Railcard?

And finally, as KGX is a huge station, can anyone roughly estimate the queue time for the ticket machines, as I'm gonna be right in the peak time.

As you want to include adding a railcard discount, you'll have to do that at a manned LU ticket desk, and they'll need to see the railcard. If you are arriving at Kings Cross I'd expect the LU northern ticket hall (the one under the north end of the new concourse) to have the shortest queues.

However, if you are in a hurry, the Oyster cards themselves are also available from LU machines, and again the shortest queues will be in the LU northern ticket hall.

You'll then have to get the 16-25 railcard loaded separately at a manned LU ticket desk, but if you do it anytime on the same day, I understand that it will be retrospectively applied to that day's travel.

It is usually easiest to get the discount appled at a major LU station, because although in theory it can be done at any LU station, and some NR, often the staff at minor stations don't know the routine...
 

maniacmartin

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Note that the railcard association only lowers the daily cap and not the per-journey fares. Also not that once associated, you will need to carry the railcard with you at all times that you use the oysetr card, even on buses.

I've queued for over 15 minutes at Kings Cross on a few occasions, so if there are long queues and you are only making a single journey you may wish to leave the railcard association for another day.

There is also a visitors/tourist oyster card that costs only £3 but is non-refundable. The only difference being that you can't load season tickets onto it.

If you're coming into King's Cross via national rail, you could also consider not bothering with the Oyster and getting a ticket to U1 * LONDON instead of LONDON TERMINALS, as I believe this entitles you to a single zone 1 underground journey which would get you to Victoria
 

ert47

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It does now although I'm not 100% if it's only on off-peak journeys

Its only on journeys made outside of the morning peak where the discounted daily cap would be applied (i think). And travelling in peak, the full peak single price would be applied.

With the railcard restrictions, I have found you will get the discount on single rail journeys made after 0930 (and started before 0630) instead of 1000, but this does not apply to single journeys started between 1600-1900.
 

Searle

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Wow, thank you guys for all the responses!

If you're coming into King's Cross via national rail, you could also consider not bothering with the Oyster and getting a ticket to U1 * LONDON instead of LONDON TERMINALS, as I believe this entitles you to a single zone 1 underground journey which would get you to Victoria

How much would this cost from Hertford North? I can't seem to find it on BR Fares
 

MikeWh

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Note that the railcard association only lowers the daily cap and not the per-journey fares.

Absolutely incorrect.

The railcard association lowers all off-peak fares and caps, even on Underground/DLR only journeys (since Jan 2011). It also has several advantages over paper tickets in that the discount is applied 0430-0629 and there is no minimum fare restriction on 16-25 railcards. Also, the daily caps for travel in zones 1-2 and 1-4 are fully discounted on Oyster while only the discounted zones 1-6 rate applies on paper. There is, of course, one drawback in that there are no discounts on single journeys 1600-1900. The reduced cap still applies, but a paper ticket may be cheaper if all travel is between those times.

Finally, if the railcard is added to the Oyster card after the reduced cap has been passed for the day you will not get the difference back.
 

tgsh2011

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The railcard discount lowers the off peak price cap AND the off peak per journey price between 09:30 and 16:00. If travelling against the evening peak flow (i.e. a journey INTO Zone 1) those individual fares are reduced as well. Evening peak finishes at 19:00 (as far as I know). 16-25 discount is well worth adding to your Oyster. Significant savings can be made!
 

MikeWh

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If travelling against the evening peak flow (i.e. a journey INTO Zone 1) those individual fares are reduced as well.

Between 1600 and 1900 journeys priced by TfL are off-peak if they start outside zone 1 and finish in zone 1.
 
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