Oyster to Gatwick

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by infobleep, 15 Mar 2015.

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  1. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    I'm thinking that the only problem they are trying to deal with is stopping people using ordinary zone 1-6 travelcards outside their validity.

    But AFAICS an 'any permitted' out boundary travelcard is still valid next week (according to NRES) so we are left with just the case of BZ extensions; which I suggest are very much in the minority, notwithstanding the regularity with which they are discussed in these forums.
     
  2. JonathanH

    JonathanH Established Member

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    Isn't the point that there isn't an out of station interchange facility on platforms 13 and 14 at Victoria and therefore no matter where else you have touched in a touch on the readers for 13 and 14 will start a new journey at the Gatwick Express rate?
     
  3. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    That's another good point. Passenger arrives from Underground and finds the next East Croydon train leaves from platform 13. Touches in at the normal barrier because they aren't aware it's different. When they exit at East Croydon will they be charged a normal fare for VIC-ECR or the proper through fare from their start point to ECR?
     
  4. andrewkeith5

    andrewkeith5 Member

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    I have a feeling the Oyster system probably could identify and rectify that even if it were post the event - you're stuffed if you take that same train to Gatwick though.

    I doubt they've hired anyone with copy writing experience to write legible signs in plain English to warn of this kind of thing!
     
  5. robbob700

    robbob700 Member

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    I find it bizarre that Southern are now saying Oyster is about flexibility and it is nearly always cheaper to get a paper ticket for the journey. TfL spent ages trying to persuade everyone to get Oyster cards saying that it would always be the cheapest fare as it saved them money processing cash payments and issuing paper tickets. This sounds like Southern want to have their cake and eat it - getting the savings from Oyster but not passing these on to the passengers.
     
  6. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    Surely a travelcard season held on Oyster plus a paper Boundary Zone ticket to Gatwick is valid on Gatwick Express services.
     
  7. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Absolutely, and the Train Company concerned (GTR) cannot stop people using their Express route on such a combination.

    If anyone who works in the media wants to embarrass GTR and the other bodies responsible for ludicrous fares, please do contact me, as I know of a good example where the fare passengers pay will be over double that of a paper ticket. <D It would be good to show an unsuspecting passenger being given a huge bill, and then show what the paper fare would be.
     
  8. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    It's total nonsense and frankly I'm flabbergasted that this supposedly professional railway operator is briefing it's staff such mega-nonsense.

    Quite apart from them being perfectly valid in the way shown by other posters, what about this travelcard? Or this one?
     
  9. andrewkeith5

    andrewkeith5 Member

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    Really? You're probably the only one on this thread! Southern will do anything to make sure they don't lose revenue to anyone else, especially on their oh-so-precious Brighton Express route.




    Be fair, we are talking about Oyster cards here, and neither of those tickets you cite can be used with an Oyster card.

    However, there ARE travelcards valid on Gatwick Express which should be available on Oyster, but I'll bet that Southern have done everything they possibly can to make sure TfL don't get any share of those, so they're probably only available on paper.

    Now, who would still like to complain that Northern are the TOC that cares about their passengers least in the country? If you live on the mainline but not in Brighton or Croydon, most of the time it's like Southern would really rather you didn't use their trains at all!
     
  10. Minstral25

    Minstral25 Established Member

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    Southern don't get any ticket revenue on the Brighton Express route, nor do Thameslink or GTR.

    Why - it is a management contract not a franchise - every penny goes to the Department for Transport directly.

    In turn DfT give GOVIA an agreed sum of money to run the services plus a small fee.
     
    Last edited: 10 Jan 2016
  11. andrewkeith5

    andrewkeith5 Member

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    Fair enough, yes, in a technical sense thats true. But it's still Govia responsible for collecting the money, presumably with plenty of targets to meet, and they have to bear the immediate cost of implementing and managing the scheme.

    If it really was DfT in charge, and the DfT were doing heir job, then it wouldn't be anywhere near as ridiculously complicated and bad value for money as it is.
     
    Last edited: 11 Jan 2016
  12. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    Today is launch day and I've just touched in at Gatwick. It was showing in my online account within 4 minutes.
     
  13. andrewkeith5

    andrewkeith5 Member

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    Hurrah, it works!

    At some point I'll try and find out what happens when you touch in with insufficient balance on Auto Top Up, but I'm pretty busy this week.
     
  14. John @ home

    John @ home Established Member Fares Advisor

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    Why would this be different for Oyster to/from Gatwick? I would expect the normal system to operate: when you touch in with a balance less than the threshold (currently £10), the system immediately credits the Oyster card with the chosen amount (£20 or £50) and at a later time attempts to collect that amount from the chosen account.
     
  15. andrewkeith5

    andrewkeith5 Member

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    I'm not expecting it to be any different to be honest - but as Southern's briefing note said that PAYG credit was needed to cover the entry fare it's worth testing.

    There surely aren't that many situations where £10 is not enough to cover the entry fare on the Oyster network?
     
  16. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    Actually it's the entry threshold. This is usually the price of the cheapest single fare from that station at that time. In 99% of cases this is a one or two zone fare. The only two places where it is > £10 are at Gatwick Airport in the peaks and Victoria p13-14 at any time.
     
  17. andrewkeith5

    andrewkeith5 Member

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    Apologies on the terminology.

    The fact that this will be the first time the entry threshold is over the minimum Auto Top-Up balance means it's probably worth finding out how the system copes...
     
  18. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    Absolutely. My guess is that it won't. You will need to manually top up in those situations which kind-of loses the benefit of auto top-up.
     
  19. andrewkeith5

    andrewkeith5 Member

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    Well, hopefully I'll have tried it by the end of the week. Logically it should allow travel and instigate an auto top up on the negative balance touch out?
     
  20. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    Noooooo!

    Auto top up deliberately only operates on touch in. That way they can avoid accusations of profiteering. If it topped up at the end of a journey then people would complain that they didn't intend to use the card for a while and would rather not have the money in TfL's coffers.
     
  21. andrewkeith5

    andrewkeith5 Member

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    Should make things interesting then!
     
  22. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    And that seems to be the case following a phone call I received from TfL today. The advice as far as Victoria is concerned is not to use the Express. At Gatwick in the peak hours you will just have to go and top-up manually.
     
  23. andrewkeith5

    andrewkeith5 Member

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    Frustrating! Takes away from the flexibility somewhat
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 15 Jan 2016
  24. tsr

    tsr Established Member

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    So the new GX-branded advertising about skipping ticket machine queues isn't exactly accurate either.

    I can hear the joy of the passengers from here...
     
  25. Sarah

    Sarah Member

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    Is there an obvious (or good) reason why the Oyster fare between Redhill and Vauxhall (£8.60/£11.40) is more expensive than the Oyster fare between Redhill and Waterloo/Victoria (£5.80/£10.30)?
     
  26. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    There has been a major cock-up in implimenting the fares for this extension. Fares to stations between Coulsdon South and London Bridge/Blackfriars/Victoria on the direct lines are set 'correctly' but fares where a change takes you off the direct routes are almost all set incorrectly. As an example, it is cheaper to travel via zone 1 (London Bridge) to any Southeastern metro station than it is to change at either New Cross Gate or Surrey Quays and New Cross. Even travel to Sutton which would be via Norwood Junction is priced as if you have to travel to Sydenham instead. It's madness!
     
  27. JonathanH

    JonathanH Established Member

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    Who says the fares are incorrect? They certainly aren't logical but they are what someone has decided should be charged and in some cases the fares from Redhill are set at the same rates as those from Gatwick. In other cases they aren't. It would appear that whoever set the fares is content for people to use Oyster to travel to destinations between Victoria / London Bridge and Redhill but charge a premium for anything off that route.

    Don't forget that the primary point of introducing Oyster beyond Coulsdon South is an agreement between TfL and Gatwick Airport. The fact that it has to be accepted at intermediate stations is a bit of a nuisance.

    The discrepancy between Redhill and Battersea Park and Redhill and Queenstown Road is even worse as is Redhill to Croydon and Waddon.
     
  28. JaJaWa

    JaJaWa Established Member

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    The agreement is mainly between GTR and the DfT. If neither of those were involved, I doubt it would be so mucked up!
     
  29. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Established Member

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    Here's an apparently even odder fare: Woolwich Arsenal to Gatwick Airport...

    Peak is £14.00, Off-peak is £8.00. I assume that means changing at London Bridge.

    If you instead try to avoid zone 1 by travelling for example via New Cross/New Cross Gate then the peak fare goes down to £11.40, but the off-peak fare goes up to £8.60. So which route is the cheapest depends on what time of day you are travelling!

    In this case I'm guessing there is a possible rationale: You could argue that this arrangement discourages people from travelling to London Bridge in the peaks (when it's really busy) but not in the off-peaks. But even so, that is going to be really confusing.
     
  30. JonathanH

    JonathanH Established Member

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    ...and from Redhill the same £11.40/£8.60 fare applies if you touch the pink reader but if you don't touch it is £10.30/£5.80.

    This seems to be connected with a decision that the Gatwick fares should apply from the other extension stations for any journey except Southern destinations on line of route to London Victoria / London Bridge, Thameslink stations Blackfriars to St Pancras, Waterloo, places you can get to on the South West Trains / Southeastern network by changing at Waterloo or London Bridge and Southeastern destinations changing at Penge West / Penge West.
     
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