Saturday, 5 September 2015

Oyster and Contactless Bank Cards for Dartford Railway Station

The good news for people commuting to and from Dartford Railway Station is that you will be able to use your Oyster or Contactless bank card in both directions.
TFL's Press release:
Thousands of rail passengers are set for cheaper fares and more convenient journeys from Sunday 6 September as acceptance of contactless payments and Oyster is extended to pay as you go travel on Southeastern services to and from Dartford station.
The move is part of Transport for London's (TfL's) work to make life easier for customers, and will mean Dartford station moves into Zone 8, with customers able to use pay as you go and Zone 1-8 Travelcard season tickets. Customers using contactless payments to travel will pay the same fare as Oyster and, whether using Oyster or contactless payments, customers will make significant financial savings.
A standard anytime single fare for travel to Dartford is currently £8.40, but from Sunday the new pay as you go contactless payment or Oyster single fare will be £7.00in the peak (saving £1.40) and £4.00 off peak (saving £4.40).
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: `Integrating the fares on this route with the wider TfL network makes perfect sense and ties in with our mission to make getting around our city easy for everyone, no matter where they live. I'm delighted that the great people of Dartford can now benefit from contactless payments and Oyster, which offer better fares and a more convenient way to travel.'
TfL's Director of Customer Experience, Shashi Verma, said: `This is just one of the many projects we are working on to make paying for transport easier for everyone travelling in the Capital and beyond. Over 20 per cent of our pay as you go customers use contactless payment already because it is so quick and easy. There's no need to top-up, you just touch in and out with your credit or debit card.'
Southeastern's Commercial Director, Mike Boden, said, `We're really pleased to be able to offer this service at Dartford station. The investment in this region will benefit a huge number of people and make it easier and cheaper to use our services.'
In March this year, TfL was named the fastest growing Visa contactless payments merchant in Europe. This was only six months after the launch of contactless payments on Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground, and most National Rail services in London. Contactless payments have been accepted on London Buses since December 2012. TfL developed the contactless technology needed to travel on its services in-house and is leading the way with over 157 million contactless journeys made on services since it launched in September 2014.
Also TFL have published the new fares for commuters travelling to and from Dartford.
Adult National Rail only fares
Pay as you go single
  Zones 1-Dartford
  Zones 2-Dartford
  Zones 3-Dartford
  Zones 4-Dartford
  Zones 5-Dartford
  Zones 6-Dartford

More on National Rail Oyster fares here.
Currently London Buses routes 96, 428 and 492 serve Dartford; these are the only services from TFL where people from Dartford can only use their Oyster and Contactless bank cards. This will take the pressure off London Bus services though where Oyster and Contactless Bank Card users have to travel by bus to the nearest railway station where it takes Oyster and Contactless bank cards.
Also, Dartford railway station is already part of the Freedom Pass validity, so the Elderly and Disabled with Freedom Passes can travel free (after 9:30am on weekdays and all times on other days) from and to Dartford Station.
The long wait is now over for Dartford commuters.
Back in May 2012, a commuter travelled from Lewisham station to Dartford Station. As he arrived, he was met by revenue inspectors, he did not realise that he couldn’t use his Oyster card at Dartford station because it wasn't valid, and after the debate with the revenue inspectors, he had to pay a £20 fine. But the good news for him that he can now use his Oyster card without any problems. The local press ‘News Shopper’ commented on the actions of the revenue inspector’s action by fining him £20 which made the commuter angry.
Last year, on 16th September 2014, News Shopper reported the news about Oyster cards coming to Dartford. It said that “Southeastern and Transport for London made an agreement on September 11, with the Oyster card system set to be in place by December 2016.” Interesting how the plans moved ahead to September 2015. Many commuters are happy about the Oyster validity to Dartford, and hopefully they will make use of it.
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Image attribution
"Dartford railway station, December 2014 i02" by Edgepedia - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons -,_December_2014_i02.JPG#/media/File:Dartford_railway_station,_December_2014_i02.JPG

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