Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Oyster Cards to be sold to tourists before they come to Britain?

A few days ago, Ken Livingstone's monopoly transport provider, TfL, made a press announcement which was heavily picked up around the world saying that Oyster Card are to go on sale in India, Hong Kong, Singapore, Spain, Portugal and the US via VisitBritain online shops.

Can anyone smell a junket coming on? What exactly is wrong with selling Oyster Cards at the airports and train stations? Why such far flung reaches as well? According to the Office of National Statistics the USA is the only nation in the top five for inbound tourism that is also on TfL's list.

You have to then ask yourself why start issuing Oyster Cards out in places like India, Hong Kong and Singapore? I expect that in the next few months there will be a few "fact-finding missions" to these far flung reaches by TfL staffers at the London taxpayers expense.

However, something else that the reports say is that these pre-pay Oyster cards will be based upon the local currency for where they are purchased. So a card bought in India will have Ruppees put on it and people will not have to worry about "Exchange Rates". What does that imply for pricing?

Ever feel like you've been cheated?


Serf said...

Will they be on sale in Caracus?

Croydonian said...

As discussed, I see this as being another way of chipping away at paper tickets too.

David Webster said...

So will we get the Hong Kong Metro (assuming they've got one) equivalent of the oyster card in Britain?

Thought not.

pat said...

it doesnt bother me where they're sold.
don't see you lot complaining about the price of oyster card tickets.....
selective whingeing, innit?
enable visitors to get a good deal on tube prices before they come? naah, let's complain about it and ken as well.!!!!!

Peter Tan said...

I'm in Singapore. I've just ordered an Oyster card - I got a shock when I saw the flat fee of £4 for single tickets. They Oyster card isn't cheaper if you buy them overseas. It's just that you needn't fumble for change or join long queues when you arrive. So this is an excellent idea.

Anonymous said...

what an excellent idea, this blogger is just a whinger