Political

Good news as £15m of Oyster refunds on the way

I’ve blogged before about the problems with Oyster users on London’s public transport network being over-charged. There’s good news however in today’s Evening Standard:

Hundreds of thousands of Tube passengers overcharged for ‘honest mistakes’ will share in a £15 million annual refund.

Commuters who accidentally forget to touch out will escape penalty fares in the biggest change to Oyster technology.

A new tracking system will “remember” the journeys passengers usually take – and make sure they are not overcharged. The change follows growing concern over Transport for London’s annual £60 million income from excess fares.

Caroline Pidgeon, chairwoman of the London Assembly transport committee, said: “At long last TfL are waking up to the fact that serious overcharging takes place with Oyster.”…

About 40,000 people a day are charged a maximum fare – which differs from a penalty fare imposed on fare dodgers – but many are corrected automatically or by passengers calling the Oyster helpline or complaining to station staff.

The remainder will now be processed through the new software.

Although the story talks of people who forget to touch out, there is debate about how much it is people forgetting to do something and how much it is machines not working properly or at all. But regardless of what mix of causes there is, the solution is a good one.

Ealing councillor Gary Malcolm has also blogged about the Oyster story over on his blog.

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