Oyster overcharging (1)

Meeting: 
MQT on 2012-03-14
Session date: 
March 14, 2012
Reference: 
2012/0807
Question By: 
Caroline Pidgeon
Organisation: 
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

Please publish a table showing for each month since the start of 2011 the number of people using Oyster who have faced the maximum fare charges with figures broken down by: a) the number of cards b) the number of incomplete journeys c) the Pay As You Go value resulting from the incomplete journeys

Answer

Answer for Oyster overcharging (1)

Answer for Oyster overcharging (1)

Answered By: 
The Mayor

(Written answer provided on 26 April 2012.)

Tables 1 and 2 set out the data requested.

Maximum fares are not overcharges. The terms of PAYG make it quite clear that users must touch in and out to get the best fare. Maximum fares are charged to deter fraud and to encourage users always to validate.

In principle, customers who do not touch in are at risk of a Penalty Fare because they are effectively travelling without a valid ticket.

TfL is increasingly providing automatic refunds, based on the customer's normal travel patterns, where it appears a customer has inadvertently forgotten to validate their Oyster card. Refunds are also available from the Oyster help-line and at LU stations. Around one third of single-touch journeys are now being corrected in this way.

Over 4m Oyster cards are used for PAYG each month, and Table 1 indicates that 80 per cent of these cards do not incur any maximum fare charges. Of the 20 per cent or so of cards incurring maximum fares each month, most incur one charge, with only a tail of users incurring more.

Finally, Table 2 shows that only a minority of charges are at the £6.50 rate, with most charges being £4.40 or less.

This compares with the typical PAYG fare of over £2 for complete journeys.

Table 1: Incomplete pay as you go journeys in 2011

Month

No. of Cards incurring max fare charges

(000)

No. of

journeys

(000)

Total

charged

(£000)

January

693

953

4,387

February

731

996

4,583

March

808

1,129

5,200

April

819

1,110

4,976

May

820

1,111

5,063

June

906

1,230

5,643

July

940

1,287

5,748

August

899

1,204

5,459

September

907

1,238

5,655

October

942

1,287

5,862

November

891

1,233

5,683

December

936

1,254

5,691

Total

 

14,032

63,950

Table 2: breakdown of maximum fares charged in 2011

Charge

type

No. of

journeys

(000)

Total

charged

(£000)

Charge

(pence)

Peak (standard)

3,388

22,022

650

Off-peak (standard)

7,635

33,595

440

Child

737

490

65/70

Watford junction

13

97

740

Other (see note 2)

2,259

7,746

340

Total

14,032

63,950

455

Notes:

1. In 2011, 650p (peak) or 440p (off-peak) was charged for most rail pay as you go journeys on adult Oystercards where only an entry or an exit validation was made. 2. Where an 'unfinished' journey on National Rail includes an initial stage on the Underground the amount charged is the difference between the fare for the Underground leg and the 650p or 440p entry charge.