Oyster Cards: Where Else Should You Be Able To Use Them?

By M@ Last edited 27 months ago
Oyster Cards: Where Else Should You Be Able To Use Them?

You can now ride along the river with minimum hassle, after the introduction of pay-as-you-go Oyster tickets on the Thames Clippers (although, like fares on the cable car, it doesn't count towards your daily cap).

Where else might our lives be made easier by the contactless blue cards?

Cycle hire

Regular users tend to buy the subscriber key, which makes grabbing a cycle very easy. Everyone else has to work through an antiquated fudgewhackery of pin numbers, print-outs, credit cards and pass-codes.

Can we not just install Oyster readers? Failed mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith seemed to think so. One of his more attractive election pledges was to bring Oyster and other contactless payments to the cycle hire network in 2017. The current payment-service contract expires in 2017. We pray for something simpler.

The rest of the train network

Is Dartford on the Oyster system? Luton Airport? Gatwick Airport? Heathrow Airport? The answers are 'yes', 'no', 'yes', and 'depends'. It's confusing.

We've surely all been in the position where we've had to work out whether to buy a paper ticket or just hop on with a contactless payment.

One day, we like to dream, the whole UK rail system will be integrated into Oyster or some clever form of contactless that can take into account concessions and automatically work out return fares.

Sure, it'd be a nightmare to plan, negotiate and operate, but as armchair pundits we don't really care about that. Just give us the Oyster.

Visitor attractions

Back when it was sponsored by British Airways, the London Eye used to market itself as a form of transport. We were invited to 'take a flight' by presenting our 'boarding pass'. So how about integrating the big wheel with the rest of London's transport and sticking it on Oyster. Instead of two big queues, they'd have one fast-moving queue.

Ditto other attractions around town. The nearby London Aquarium should take part just because, well, oysters. The Orbit tower seems like another good candidate as it's (a) struggling to get visitors and (b) has a novelty slide back down to the ground, which might just about count as a form of transport.

Also, London Transport Museum in Covent Garden is part of TfL, and one of the few big museums to charge an entrance fee. Stick it on Oyster!

The Garden Bridge

The planned green span between Temple and the South Bank is set to become London's most restrictive bridge.

You can't cycle across, play an instrument, drink alcohol, give a speech, fly a kite, release a balloon or take part in any exercise except jogging.

It won't be open late at night and will occasionally close during the daytime for private events. Security guards will patrol the bridge, and your mobile signal is likely to be tracked.

The experience could be made even more stifling by erecting a ticket gate at each end. This could also help raise money to pay for all that surveillance.

Ruislip Lido Railway

One of London's shortest railways, and the only one with a request stop. This west London miniature line is an absolute treasure.

Perhaps ye olde paper tickets are all part of the heritage experience, but making it Oyster accessible would get the little-known attraction a heap of publicity.

Temple Bar

Whenever the monarch visits the City of London, she has to go through an elaborate ritual in which the Lord Mayor presents his sword as a token of submission to Her Majesty.

Why bother? Let's modernise and get it on Oyster.

Last Updated 24 October 2016