Almost 10 years of the Oyster Card (launched July 2003) and still bafflement abounds in the ticket hall.
To tourists, my patience is extended. Weekly commuters; who still fail to check their oyster card balance before joining the horde at the ticket gate, for you, I only wish to extend my forearm.
You shouldn’t have to be prompted by an app/email/carrier pigeon to check your balance. It’s the most basic step of all financial planning – check your available balance before making a purchase of any kind. Is it too much to ask that you exercise some responsibility over your personal finances?
Next issue: Lingering over the Oyster card reader
The Oyster card reader is not the pressure-sensor rock in Indiana Jones (Raiders of the Lost Ark). You will not be bludgeoned to death if your Oyster card is removed from the reader before you are clear of the barriers. Just tap. And be on your way – that’s you and your arm.
I may start to adopt the “finders keepers” rule when I come across hands still compressed to the reader as I approach.
In short: If you have been a commuting resident of London for any amount of years post 2003 and regularly cause commuter pile-ups at stations or bus stops, you should be bundled on to an old Routemaster and driven beyond the borders of the M25 – and told never to return to this fair city.
If you would prefer not to be banished from London:
- Check your balance before you join the queue at the barriers (or before boarding a bus)
- Keep it moving – no lingering over the Oyster card reader once you see the barriers are open.
Rant over. Alight here.