Best and Cheapest way to use the public transport in London
Travelling by the double-decker buses is indeed the best way to use public transport in London especially for those who want to move around London mainly for sightseeing. This is because these buses are very fast, comfortable and economical and ensure plenty of opportunities for sightseeing along the way. Oyster Card as well as Travel Cards are the cheapest way to use public transport in London. Those who have the Oyster card will be charged per journey undertaken by them. However, there is a maximum limit for their charges for one day. For one day travel, Oyster card is cheaper than Travel card. For those who want to travel for longer periods in London, using Travel card is the best way to use public transport in London.
Oyster Card and Travelcard
Oyster Card is the best way to use public transport in London. These are plastic smartcards which provide the cheapest way to use the public transport in London in single journey on bus, Tube, tram, Tfl Rail, London Overground, DLR and National Rail services. On the other hand, the 7 day Travel Card is cheaper than the Oyster Card. However, the Oyster Card which is on ‘Pay as You Go’ basis can be cheaper because the Oyster Card holder can load the 7 days Travelcard on to the Oyster Card and avail the benefits of both cards. Including from Heathrow Airport visitors can buy their Oyster Cards from any Underground stations. Payment can be made either as cash or by credit card. Since there are no manned ticket offices at some Underground stations, the cards may be bought from the ticket machine. Daily Price Cap for Oyster Card for travelling in Zones 1 & 2 is about £7.00 whereas the price cap for the 7 days Travelcard is £35.10.
Advantages of Oyster Card
For the tourists, Oyster Card is the best way to use public transport in London. Those who visit London just for a short time also prefer the Oyster card. Those who stay in London for not less than 5 days can get the Oyster Card and load the 7 Day or the monthly Travelcards on to the Oyster Cards and they will be able to save substantial amount of cash. This advantage is not available with Visitor Oyster Card or contactless card. Hence for those who want to stay in London for 5 or more days, Oyster Card is the cheapest way to use public transport in London. When one is without Oyster Card and wants to pay cash for a single Underground journey in London has to pay more than double the price of the same journey with Oyster Card. Oyster Cards are permanent cards and are also reusable. The card holder can top up the card with cash whenever required. The Oyster Card can be topped up at the ticket machine.
Two types of Oyster Cards
Oyster Cards are of 2 types: Standard Oyster Card and Visitor Oyster Card. Those who buy the card in London can get Standard Oyster Card and those who buy from outside London including airports, trains National Express Coaches and Overseas Agents will get Visitor Oyster Card. The activation fee of £5 for Visitor Oyster Card and it is non-refundable whereas the deposit of £5 for Standard Oyster Card is refundable at the time of cancellation/surrender. The 7 Day Travelcard cannot be loaded on to the Visitor Oyster Card. Visitor Oyster Card cannot be registered.
- Card will have ‘special offers’ of discounts to the holders for purchasing various items including food and theatre tickets.
- Oyster Card Single Cash Fare in Zone 1 & 2
- For travel in Zone 1, Single Cash Fare during peak-time as well as off-peak time is £2.40. For Zone 2, it will be £1.70 during peak-time and £1.50 during off-peak time. For travel from Zone 1 to Zone 2, the Single Cash Fare during peak time is £2.90 and during off-peak time is £2.40. For all the above three cases, the contactless card payment card fare will be £4.90.
Standard Oyster Card is the cheapest way to use public transport in London because:
- Oyster Card ensures the lowest fare for any individual journey
- 7 Day Travelcard can be electronically loaded on to Oyster Card and can be used as both Oyster Card and Travelcard
- Those who plan to come back to London after some time can retain their Oyster Card and use the same again
- Those who want to cancel the Oyster Card can get the same done by the ticket machine and get the refund of the deposit amount and cash left on the card.
- At a time only one person can travel with an Oyster Card
- No photo is required on the card and name of the card holder don’t need to be stamped on the card. Hence, another person can use the card when the card holder is not travelling.
- In case the card holder wishes, he/she can get the card registered
- Oyster Card can be used either on ‘Pay as You Go’ basis or on fixed duration (travelcards), flat fee with unlimited travel basis – and that is our favourite advantage of using the Standard Oyster Card and it is what makes it the cheapest way to use public transport in London.
We hope we can help you to plan your trip to London with those tips! Please feel free to contact us and if You would like to receive more posts like this, sign up for our newsletter. Thanks for reading!