Student Oyster Cards and Reduced Price Travelcards

Plenary on 2006-12-06
Session date: 
December 6, 2006
Question By: 
Valerie Shawcross
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
Peter Hendy (Commissioner, Transport for London)


One of my constituents, Yvonne Levy, tells me that there is a huge barrier to buying an annual Travelcard at a student discount rate.

"It is a Catch 22 sort of situation in which the student has to get a student card or an official letter confirming his/her student status from his university before applying for a student Oyster card. This is normally not achieved until after term starts - usually some time in October. Then a form has to be filled in and sent off to await the arrival of the Oyster card. Only then can he/she proceed to one of the quite rare places where an annual Travelcard may be bought. Only then is he/she told that as the end date of a Travelcard is end September the following year it is now impossible to buy such a card. This is so even if the student is willing to accept that he/she will, in fact have the card for less than a year. The "system" simply does not allow it. The only option is then to buy monthly Travelcards which add up to considerably more than the annual card."

What percentage of London students buy an annual Travelcard at a student discount rate? What plans do TfL have to make it easier for students to buy the discounted tickets?


Answer for Student Oyster Cards and Reduced Price Travelcards

Answer for Student Oyster Cards and Reduced Price Travelcards

Answered By: 
Peter Hendy (Commissioner, Transport for London)

It is true that annual Travelcards cannot generally be purchased by students given the way the discount scheme operates at present.

The student scheme is intended primarily to reduce the cost of travel to and from college during term time. Typically, this is the period October to June ' though sales tend to fall away in June when many students are preparing for exams rather than attending lectures each day.

The cost of the discounts provided by the scheme is currently around £40mpa and its terms are regularly reviewed with the National Union of Students and the University Vice-Chancellors. The issue of annual tickets has not been raised before.

TfL is currently piloting an on-line system which will significantly speed up the current paper-based application process. When this system is fully rolled-out next year, it may well be possible to accommodate annual ticket purchases and TfL will assess the detailed implications of doing this.