The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, Transport Secretary, Andrew Adonis, and the Train Operating Companies serving the capital today confirmed that the hundreds of thousands of passengers who travel on National Rail services within Greater London will be able to use Oyster pay as you go from 2 January 2010.
The extension of the ticketing system will cover all commuter rail routes within Greater London, and will particularly benefit commuters living across south and north east London, where Oyster pay as you go is not currently accepted on the vast majority of rail services.
The rail agreement will see Oyster pay as you go accepted on all Greater London services operated by Chiltern, National Express East Anglia, London Midland, First Great Western, First Capital Connect, Southern, Southeastern and South West Trains. Oyster pay as you go will also be accepted on c2c services in Greater London as well as Grays, Chafford Hundred, Purfleet and Ockendon stations in Essex.
A new map that reveals the incredible reach of Oyster around the capital from January has also been produced. The map will become a feature of stations all over London in the build up to full Oysterisation.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: ”I am delighted to be able to announce that the Oysterisation of all London’s commuter rail services is to become a reality. This combined with the news about Thames Clippers services means Oyster will be all over the capital. It truly will be the only ticket Londoners need to get around town.
“Our hard work, determination and investment was not in vain. It has ended the crackers situation of Londoners not being able to use Oyster on every commuter route in the capital. And our glorious new map that reveals the unbelievable reach of Oyster truly hammers home that this is a landmark day for Londoners.”
Transport Secretary, Andrew Adonis, said: “Oyster pay as you go will transform travel in London as for the first time passengers will be able to travel seamlessly across the network and switch between underground and all overground rail services.
“If we are to encourage more people onto public transport we must make it as easy and convenient to use as possible. That is exactly what Oyster has done in London and why extending pay as you go to rail services is so important.
“Oyster on rail will open up a range of new journey opportunities for Londoners and will mean that rail passengers travelling into and across the capital from other parts of the country will only need one type of ticket. But we mustn’t stop there - I want to see smart ticketing on all modes of public transport in England as quickly as possible.”
Chairman of the Association of Train Operating Companies, Tom Smith, said: “Using Oyster pay as you go will make travel easier and simpler for hundreds of thousands of rail passengers making their way around the capital every day. This means that passengers in London will be able to use Oyster pay as you go at all 350 national rail stations in London from the 2nd January.
“Train companies and TfL have been working hard, with the help of the Department for Transport, to make all the arrangements needed for Oyster pay as you go to be used on rail in London. This major project will improve customers’ experience of using the rail network and we expect the number of people taking advantage of it to increase dramatically.”
London’s Transport Commissioner, Peter Hendy, said: “London can now boast a truly integrated ticketing system that delivers ease and convenience for passengers. This is excellent news, particularly for people living south of the river.
“We have invested £40m to install or upgrade equipment at every train station in London to deliver Oyster on National Rail. We have worked tirelessly with the Association of Train Operating Companies, the operators and the Department for Transport and are delighted to have delivered this for the benefit of Londoners.”
The Train Operating Companies will set Oyster pay as you go fares on the National Rail network. These will be zonally based, but will be different from fares on TfL services. TfL fares will apply on the Tube, DLR, London Overground and National Rail services that currently accept Oyster pay as you go. An additional combined TfL/National Rail fare will be introduced for journeys that incorporate both TfL and National Rail services.
The Mayor also announced today that passengers can pay for their travel on Thames Clipper river services with Oyster pay as you go, in the process receiving a 10% discount. Passengers with a Travelcard loaded onto their Oyster card are eligible for the existing discount of a third off their ticket price, which can then be paid for using pay as you go credit which can be loaded onto the same Oyster card.