Wednesday, January 5, 2011

London Tube fare increase - how much does a tube ride cost now?

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I woke up yesterday morning to two major headlines: VAT has increased from 17.5% to 20% and Tube fares for Pay As You Go (PAYG), which most Londoners are on, have increased between 5.5% to 12.5%.

Not exactly the most reassuring headlines to start the first workday of 2011 with but Tube fares as it stands now are as follow (source: Evening Standard):

PAYG (*off-peak)
Zone 1-2: £2.50/£1.90*
Zone 1-6: £4.50/£2.70*

Cash single trip
Zone 1-3: £4
Zone 1-4: £5
3 Zones excluding Zone 1: £4
4 Zones excluding Zone 1: £5

Not only that, you'll need to pay a £5 deposit for an Oyster card. It might be fully refundable but it's still quite a leap from the original £3. Furthermore, how many of us actually refund our stored value Oyster PAYG card?

I made the mistake of thinking that things might be going more smoothly for the Tube in the new year. I was that naive. With the horde of workers heading into the Tube system yesterday morning, the Tube eventually buckled under immense load. It didn't help that a joker take a hike along the Tube tunnel causing severe delays to the Northern Line. Apparently, Tube fare increases does drive some to desperation.

That had a domino effect and the DLR station at Bank was so congested that all trains were to bypass the station. The office crowd heading to Canary Wharf were channelled to London Bridge station's Jubilee Line. A lady fainted on the platform and caused a minor commotion when a stretcher was brought in.

Just when I thought that I was lucky to squeeze into the fourth train leaving London Bridge station, another train broke down further along the line at Stratford, slowing the entire Jubilee line to a crawl.

Welcome back, Londoners. Here we go again!

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