Is it faster to take the DLR to Greenwich on a season ticket, or cheaper on pay-as-you-go contactless from Woking to Waterloo? Whether you're spending a few days as a tourist, or you commute daily, we've scoured the web and put together a few money or time saving hacks to help you upgrade your travelling in and around London.
1- Inner city pressure. Avoid zone 1 if you can. For example, on a journey from Kilburn to Canary Wharf rather than going through zone 1, go Brondesbury to Stratford on the overground, touch the pink reader there and take the Jubilee line to Canary Wharf and you could save yourself £8.30 a week. But remember that you will still need to touch on the pink validator readers to prove to the system that you avoided zone 1.
2 - Be a clock watcher! If you're travelling close to the peak/off-peak time of 0930 then it might be worth bearing in mind that TfL doesn't switch on its 'peak time' until 2-3 minutes after the advertised start time, and turns it off 2-3 minutes before the advertised end time. It does this to ensure it gets minimal complaints about station clocks showing the wrong times. So with some clever timing, you can avoid peak prices but still just squeeze onto the peak time train. There's no point hanging around at weekends or on bank holiday Mondays though - there's no peak time at all on these days!
3 - Regular or one-off? Using a contactless credit or debit card is great for individual and one-off trips on the tube. Travel is charged per journey but capped at both daily and weekly limits depending on zones. Contactless and pay as you go Oyster prices are the same. However, TfL has warned that some journeys that avoid zone 1 might not cap correctly for contactless cards, so check your statement and query it if necessary.
4 - Complete the loop! If you go contactless, remember to touch in and out with the same card for every journey, every day, to make sure you get the best deal, even though you might be able to walk straight through the ticket barrier without tapping. If you don't complete each journey or switch between cards on different days, you might be charged the maximum fare and it won't count towards the daily and weekly price cap. Remember that any journeys on Gatwick Express, Emirates Air Line and River Bus services won't count towards the caps.
In our next article in this mini series, we'll be digging a bit deeper into when it's better to go pay as you go, and when it makes sense to buy a travelcard.