31 January 2017

Contactless is 40% more expensive than Oyster

I've written before about how Contactless can be more expensive that Oyster - but I've never done the (fairly simple) calculations to work out by how much.

The important point is that with Contactless, Transport for London computers take your Monday to Sunday travel, and work out whether you have paid more than the cost of a weekly travelcard - and refund you the difference another week later.  That's fine if you arrive into London on a Monday ... but what if you don't arrive on a Monday ?

Let's take somebody arriving into London on a Wednesday and departs the following Tuesday (7 days in London) - and assume a few tube trips around Zone 1-2 each day - enough to reach the daily 6.60 gbp cap

With Contactless it looks like this:

Wednesday £6.60
Thursday £6.60
Friday £6.60
Saturday £6.60
Sunday £6.60
Total £33.00
Monday to Sunday cap of £33.00 - so no refund

Monday £6.60
Tuesday £6.60
Total £13.20
Grand Total £46.20

But if you'd bought a 7 day travelcard on your Oystercard on the Wednesday morning - it would have been a straightforward £33.00 - a saving of £13.20

So if you start your 7 days using Contactless on a Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday it is a whopping 40% more expensive than Oyster.

So much for all those adverts that "Contactless is the same price as Oyster".

If you start your 7 days using Contactless on a Tuesday or a Sunday it is still an unpleasant 20% more expensive than Oyster.

If you're staying in London for five days or less, then Contactless is the same price as Oyster Pay as you Go.
If you're staying in London for more than 7 days (and not arriving on a Monday) then Contactless will almost always be more expensive than Oyster.

The moral of the story is don't believe the TfL propaganda - Contact is NOT the same price as Oyster.

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