Having Oyster cards made traveling around London SO easy and relatively inexpensive. The endless system of trains, underground and buses make it a cinch to get around. So, what is an Oyster card? Here are a few tips for using public transportation in London.
Oyster cards are electronic smartcards that come fully charged with credit which you can spend as you travel on the Tube, DLR, Double Decker Buses and most National Rail services in London.
They are easy to purchase at most train stations and super easy to use. At the gates to enter the underground station, simply touch the card on the yellow card reader. At the end of your trip, touch the same yellow reader to let yourself out of the gates.
If you are traveling by bus, you only need to touch the yellow card reader when you get on the bus. Make sure you board the bus at the front, because this is the only place you will find a card reader.
The actual cost of your trip varies according to the time you travel. Peak travel times..those when commuters are traveling on weekdays, are more expensive than weekends and holidays. The card reader will automatically debit the correct amount from your oyster card.
There are maps at every underground station, train station and bus stop all over the city, making it easy to find your way.
A few perks of using an Oyster card…
- It’s more than 50% cheaper than buying single tickets with cash
- There is a daily price cap – once you have reached this limit, you won’t pay any more
- Thames Clippers river buses are a totally fun way to travel in London too, and you get a travel discount with your oyster card.
If you run out of credit on your Oyster card it is super easy to add more credit to it at locations all over the city.
IF YOU ARE TRAVELING AS A FAMILY: Kids travel for free on public transportation in London! When you are using a train or underground, simply use the larger two fold gates designed for travelers with wheelchairs or packages. Have one parent swipe their Oyster card once on the yellow card reader and when the gates open, you and your children can walk through. Additional adults can use the single gates and meet you on the other side.
For more information and tips about using public transportation in London, including information about how to purchase your Oyster card ahead of your trip and have it delivered to your home, you can check out this link.
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