If it’s not a strike, it’s engineering work. Or signalling problems. Probably signalling problems.We pay a lot of money for our tube and bus for a sometimes frustrating journey. So here are some clever ways to stick it to TFL by saving some cash.
1. USE THE PINK PAD
The what? Pink pad? Yes, as you may have guessed it’s a pad that is pink. An Oyster pad to be more precise. If you are on a trip that isn’t via Zone 1 and you see one of these when you change trains, hit it and you will pay a lower fare, possibly saving one or two quid. This is because the systems assume you have gone through the centre.
The London Overground is a great spot for these and can often be quicker too.
2. USE OYSTER, OBVIOUSLY
I’m sure you all do, but if you don’t what are you thinking?? Cash fares are extortionate. On buses you can now also tap your contactless debit/credit card and pay the Oyster fare – BUT capping doesn’t work (see tip 4).
3. KNOW PEAK AND OFF PEAK
Peak fares are more expensive. In the morning it’s any travel before 9.30am. In the afternoon, it’s only travel that leaves Zone 1 between 4pm and 7pm. If you can wait to travel (or technically when you swipe your Oyster card), you’ll save.
4. USE THE CAP
Don’t buy day travelcards when you have an Oyster. Pay as you go fares are capped each day at a lower rate and include travel on most normals trains in the zones too. It also means that you’ll generally hit the cap with 3 or 4 tube journeys, so take advantage of the fact that everything after that is free.
5. CHECK YOUR FARE
If you want to find out how much a journey will be on tube, bus or train, then the single fare finder will give you the options, including if you can avoid Zone 1 as in step 1.
6. SIGN UP FOR OYSTER ONLINE
Register and if you lose your card, the details are saved meaning you can get a replacement without losing any money or season tickets.
7. DO YOU NEED A SEASON?
A season could save you money. Or it could cost you more. When registered online, you can also view your journey history, or even get a summary emailed to you each month. Take the time to look at this and see if you need a season ticket.
If you are mainly just going into work and then home each day you might not be saving much. But anything more and you’ll probably start saving even with a weekly. You have to check for your own habits.
8. CLAIM BACK DELAYS
Online you can also quickly apply for refunds if your tube journey has been delayed by more than 15 minutes. Add that up over the year and it’s well worth the time. Use the journey history function to see how long a journey took, then fill in the form here. To make it even quicker, use the Clever Site Claim My Refund. Of course, delays have to be beyond their control, so strike action doesn’t count.
Annoyingly there are separate forms for DLR (15 mins) and London Overground (30 Mins) delays, found on the same link.
For savings on regular trains, read out 10 Cheap Trains Tricks guide.