The Thick of It


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Oyster pay as you go on South West Trains? Part two.

I tested the confusing and complicated implementation of Oyster Pay as You Go (PAYG) on South West Trains last weekend. I have a monthly zones 1-2 travelcard and wanted to travel from Finsbury Park in zone 2 to Teddington in zone 6.

Starting my journey at Finsbury Park I added an Oyster Extension Permit (OEP) and topped up my PAYG balance. When I touched out at Teddington my card showed a £2 reduction. Everything had worked as I expected.

I anticipated problems on my return journey later that evening. I would need a new OEP as (I thought) one is needed for each journey outside my zones. Teddington station doesn't sell any Oyster products and there is no local newsagent I could use instead. I gambled and tapped my Oyster in at the start of my journey. When I reached Waterloo I tapped out and £2 had been deducted. Exactly as on my journey with OEP, so not having one on my return made no difference. Is this a concession from South West Trains (unlikely) in lieu of not providing OEPs from their ticket machines?

If South West Trains close this loophole what am I to do? Buy a paper extension ticket? This would mean that Oyster PAYG on their services would be useless to me. I can't buy extension tickets from SWT ticket machines either. I'd be left with one option - paying for the same journey twice to cover myself.

1 comment:

ActorErik said...

It is not a concession. All TOCs do the same starting within your travelcard to outside DOES require a OEP, returning to your travelcard zone from outside DOES NOT require an OEP.