2035 - Edinburgh and Paris join zone 51; zone 51 PAYG cap is set at €0.10 below Eurostar return fare.
Well if I can get to Paris with an Oyster card then maybe I can travel around Paris using it too? Do Oyster cards have a multi-currency feature? Can it accept euros? Do I need to be concerned with card clash between an Oyster card and a Navigo card*? (I think that the name for the Parisian smart card). * I did try this with an Octopus card and found that card clash was not an issue.
btw, I thought that all first generation Oyster cards were supposed to have been deactivated by now? These are cards without the white letter D in a blue box on their backs.
Is there an intended ultimate outer bound for the Oyster system?
Although there is no reason why it couldn't handle point to point fares, and thus work anywhere, they would need to do something about the already iniquitous 'maximum fare' system.
And increase the maximum fare payable for incomplete journeys to a ridiculous amount to deter long distance travellers from “forgetting” to touch in or out!
As I understand it, Oyster works by taking the maximum amount from your account when you start your journey then refunds the overpayment when you touch out.
This is fine for fairly low amounts of money - but the further out from London you go, the higher fares get and grater is the time between touching in and touching out.
There was an incident where a lady ended up incurring all sorts of bank charges because a supermarket 'pay at pump' setup was changed to work on a similar basis as Oyster and pulled £99 (rather than the usual £1) from the ladys account causing her to go overdrawn.
At the moment, the maximum fare taken by Oyster is relatively small and unlikely to cause financial issues to most people.
With many unrestricted rail tickets well into double or even treble figures on some InterCity routes, the Oyster method of processing payments becomes unacceptable.
Contactless and Oyster PAYG is due to launch mid-November on Heathrow Express.
Upgrades to Business First will be available on board, which I think is a first for contactless or Oyster PAYG.
It will be interesting to see how it works.
For instance, will extra payment need to be made using a different payment technology? (cash / bank card?) Or will a second fare be charged to an Oystercard?
A few days ago I was in Hong Kong and here passengers wishing to travel first class on the former KCR railway route (this is the only route that offers first class) can pay the supplement by using special first class Octopus* smart card readers located on station platforms and also at card readers located on the outside of the carriage end doors (ie: the doors which lead to the next carriage when walking through the train).
*Octopus is the name of their smart card system / their equivalent of Oyster.