Using contactless in Oyster zone when a bus replacement is involved

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martin2345uk

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Hi guys
My friend is coming from Watford to Shenfield today... he's been told to get the Met from Watford to Liverpool Street, then the Central Line to Newbury Park where a bus replacement will take him to Shenfield, as the Greater Anglia trains are not running today.
He taps in at Watford... does he tap out at Newbury Park? How then is the last leg to Shenfield dealt with? Or does he not tap out until Shenfield?
I am not a regular contactless user so I don't really understand the ins and outs...!
TIA!
Martin
 
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island

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In theory he would touch in only at Watford and touch out only at Shenfield.

In practice he may need to touch out at Newbury Park to exit the ticket gates, if they are in operation.

He should speak to staff to understand what to do at Newbury Park and Shenfield.
 

30907

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As he is finishing his journey at Shenfield, he presumably will need to tap out there to avoid an incomplete journey, depending on the advice at NP.
 

JonathanH

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I am amazed that this replacement bus process hasn't been fixed in nearly 20 years of Oyster / Contactless. There is still no real guidance on it - I can't find anything on TfL's website.

https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/245753.aspx says, for London Overground and TfL Rail
Is a train ticket required to travel on the bus? If so, what if there is no opportunity to buy one?
All customers should be in possession of a ticket (paper or digital), or have the ability to pay a fare for the journey that they intend making. If the customer intends paying for their fare by contactless / Oyster then they should present to an authorised member of staff the card they intend making payment from when asked to do so otherwise pay for their journey on arriving at the station where they alight the bus.

The user will probably find that they touch out at Newbury Park and then travel 'free' on the bus, so long as they are carrying a valid Oyster card or Contactless card.

Alternatively, they may be able to speak to the staff at Newbury Park, be let through manually and then have to ask to be let through the barriers at Shenfield to touch out there but this doesn't seem to be the usual practice.
 
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Watershed

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I am amazed that this replacement bus process hasn't been fixed in nearly 20 years of Oyster / Contactless. There is still no real guidance on it - I can't find anything on TfL's website.

https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/245753.aspx says, for London Overground and TfL Rail
I wonder what fare would they suggest one should proffer when taking a Newbury Park to Shenfield replacement bus? The default through fare assumes travel via Stratford, so is more expensive than the Zone 4-Shenfield fare (e.g. Ilford-Shenfield).
 

martin2345uk

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So he's just been through Newbury Park, they told him to tap out there and that's it...!
 

robbeech

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So he's just been through Newbury Park, they told him to tap out there and that's it...!
This is usually how it’s done. The only time it should really cause problems is if the replacement bus is in the middle of a journey and the sum of the two journeys on the outside is more expensive than a through journey (this would usually only be an issue where you would have travelled a route and touched a pink validator to avoid a higher charge through zone 1)
 

blakey1152

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I remember having an issue travelling from Woolwich Arsenal to Slade Green - A rail replacement bus was in operation but Woolwich Arsenal station was closed up so there was no way of tapping in on my Oyster to start a journey.
Southeastern at the time told me to buy a paper ticket (at a higher price than Oyster PAYG - so that wasn't happening). I can't remember what happened after that now - I probably got the normal bus instead!
 

hkstudent

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I remember having an issue travelling from Woolwich Arsenal to Slade Green - A rail replacement bus was in operation but Woolwich Arsenal station was closed up so there was no way of tapping in on my Oyster to start a journey.
Southeastern at the time told me to buy a paper ticket (at a higher price than Oyster PAYG - so that wasn't happening). I can't remember what happened after that now - I probably got the normal bus instead!
Actually, you don't even need to buy a paper ticket.
As #5 have suggested, what you need to have, is an oyster card / contactless payment as proof of intend to pay and that's it.
Southeastern does close their stations in Greater London sometimes if planned engineering work is in place.

I am amazed that this replacement bus process hasn't been fixed in nearly 20 years of Oyster / Contactless. There is still no real guidance on it - I can't find anything on TfL's website.

https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/245753.aspx says, for London Overground and TfL Rail


The user will probably find that they touch out at Newbury Park and then travel 'free' on the bus, so long as they are carrying a valid Oyster card or Contactless card.

Alternatively, they may be able to speak to the staff at Newbury Park, be let through manually and then have to ask to be let through the barriers at Shenfield to touch out there but this doesn't seem to be the usual practice.
That's not really right.
At Newbury Park Station today, TfL put up big signs before the exit barrier, to remind passengers to touch out there to be charged a correct fare.
 

JonathanH

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At Newbury Park Station today, TfL put up big signs before the exit barrier, to remind passengers to touch out there to be charged a correct fare.
It isn't the 'correct' fare though is it. In many cases the fare to Newbury Park will be cheaper than the fare from the traveller's origin to Shenfield. The Oyster card / Contactless card isn't in the system whilst the passenger is on the bus.
 

Starmill

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I am amazed that this replacement bus process hasn't been fixed in nearly 20 years of Oyster / Contactless.
This problem is probably trivial in any losses it's responsible for, but technically difficult and time-consuming to implement a fix for.
 

JonathanH

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This problem is probably trivial in any losses it's responsible for, but technically difficult and time-consuming to implement a fix for.
Yes, I agree. I would just like the ambiguity to be overcome - perhaps the issue is that if they said no fare is payable it make it difficult to change that policy when the technical fix is implemented.

As much as anything the problem is that you feel like a fare evader if you are travelling on a bus journey you aren't (explicitly) paying for.
 
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Taunton

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Most of my experience is with DLR substitutes, but I've never been asked for a fare on a London replacement bus. Among other things bus Oyster equipment has no idea where you get off or how many zones you have crossed in it. Often they are from outside bus contractors with no Oyster equipment anyway.
 

clagmonster

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This is usually how it’s done. The only time it should really cause problems is if the replacement bus is in the middle of a journey and the sum of the two journeys on the outside is more expensive than a through journey (this would usually only be an issue where you would have travelled a route and touched a pink validator to avoid a higher charge through zone 1)
In that case, a temporary out of station interchange is often set up, thus allowing the correct through fare to be charged.
 

island

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Most of my experience is with DLR substitutes, but I've never been asked for a fare on a London replacement bus. Among other things bus Oyster equipment has no idea where you get off or how many zones you have crossed in it. Often they are from outside bus contractors with no Oyster equipment anyway.
That would make it consistent with the DLR itself, which has had materially no ticket inspections since last March :D
 

Paul Kelly

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This problem is probably trivial in any losses it's responsible for, but technically difficult and time-consuming to implement a fix for.
Probably true, but in my opinion this sort of thing gives the lie to the "Every Journey Matters" slogan.
 

matt_world2004

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It is likely that if he taps out at Newbury park that he will not need to tap in or out on the rail replacement at shenfield when rail replacement buses are inspected by tfl they look for means to pay (Eg oyster credit) or a journey history indicating they would have otherwise paid for their journey
 

Taunton

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I think TfL know that the majority of replacement bus users, as indeed here, are using them as part of an overall journey, and the difference between the fare charged for what you do use by rail, and the extra on the bus to your destination, is minimal or often non-existent. So not really worth bothering with.

Who pays for NR replacement buses within London? TfL or the TOC. And do they get reimbursed by NR as it's their works that cause it? In which case, the costs are already covered.
 

Watershed

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I think TfL know that the majority of replacement bus users, as indeed here, are using them as part of an overall journey, and the difference between the fare charged for what you do use by rail, and the extra on the bus to your destination, is minimal or often non-existent. So not really worth bothering with.

Who pays for NR replacement buses within London? TfL or the TOC. And do they get reimbursed by NR as it's their works that cause it? In which case, the costs are already covered.
Replacement buses are normally organised and (in the first instance) paid for by the TOC whose services are being replaced. There are sometimes cross-TOC arrangements though.

There are arrangements for Network Rail to reimburse TOCs for the costs of rail replacement services as well as the expected loss of revenue etc.
 
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