It’s time for the Evening Standard‘s annual “outrage at the transport fare increases” issue. This year’s issue must have been particularly difficult to write as for most people the fares will have actually gone down.
Let’s explain this simply so that even Standard journalists can understand. Transport for London want everyone to use their Oyster Card system. This makes life easier for everyone. In order to do this they have increased prices for cash fares whilst reducing the equivalent Oyster Card fares. There’s really no reason for anyone to pay the increased cash fares. It’s all perfectly sensible. But nevertheless the Standard have to have their annual rant, so they ran the front page you see here.
I would, of course, link to the full story on their web site but it doesn’t seem to be there. This is becoming a common trick by the Standard and the other papers published by Associated Newspapers. They put a big ranty story on the front page of the paper, but don’t run the same story on their web page where they know that they will be linked to and discussed. I’d really like to hear someone from Associated Newspapers explain that policy.
If people are going to be encouraged out of their cars, we need to see cheap fares, not this hike. The lowest paid members of society are likely to suffer most.
There was more of the same when the BBC London news did a series of vox pops interviews last night. A lot of people seem to think that you need to pay a lot of money up front in order to use an Oyster Card. But that’s not true. Using Pre Pay you can just put as much on the card as you need. When you need it. I’m interested to hear why people think that poorer people can’t use Oyster Cards. Sounds to me like there’s just some user education needed.
Oh, and here’s the press release from TfL. So now you’ve got all the facts from the horse’s mouth and you don’t need to read the Standard any more.