Newest Review: ... blindingly obvious so I'll put this as simply as I can: London transport's Oyster Card system is simply fantastic. It looks like a cre... more
The World's Your Oyster
Member Name: sharper_fin
Advantages: Easy, cheap, convenient
Disadvantages: Only available in London
I'm a Yorkshireman and proud of it, but even I can see that there are some things that I have to go to London for. When I go down to our capital I hear Londoners frequently moaning about their transport system, how unreliable and expensive it is, and the oyster smartcards in particular come in for a lot of stick. Sometimes it takes an outsider to point out the blindingly obvious so I'll put this as simply as I can:
London transport's Oyster Card system is simply fantastic.
It looks like a credit card with a rather attractive blue pattern on it. You charge it up with a certain amount of cash and when you use any London public transport you just swipe the card over a reader either on the vehicle or at the station which registers your journey and removes the cost of it from the balance on your card. That's it. It's simple and convenient for everyone involved. You can use it to pay for journeys on the bus, Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground and National Rail services in London.
You have to put a small deposit down when you first get one but this is refundable should you not need the card any more. If you're a regular user then you can register your card online so that the money on it is protected should it be lost or stolen. You can even arrange for an auto-top up from a credit card or bank account so that the oyster card never runs out of credit.
I'm not going to list the prices on here as they could have changed by the time you read them but suffice to say that Transport For London guarantee that using the card is the cheapest way to pay for single journeys on any public transport in the city.
With one of these cards the world is your oyster... or at least London transport is.