From Academic Kids

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One Day Travelcard
A Travelcard is an inter-modal ticket, valid for a period of time varying from one day to a year, for use on public transport in London. The ticket is issued from Transport for London and National Rail outlets and can be used on the services of either.


Transport modes

A Travelcard entitles the holder to use the following modes of transport within Greater London:

Travelcards also entitle the holder to discounts on some London River Services.

Periodic validity

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7 day travelcard with pass holder

Travelcards are issued for periods of one, three and seven days, or for any period from one month to one year. A Travelcard is valid up until 04:30 on the day following its last day of marked validity.

One and three day Travelcards can be purchased in either peak or off-peak variants. The peak variant can be used at any time, whilst the cheaper off-peak variant can be used at any time on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, but not before 09:30 on other days. Travelcards for seven days or longer all allow travel at any time of day.

Paper and Oyster

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Oyster Card

When bought at a Tube station or other Transport for London agent, one and three day Travelcards are only sold on a paper ticket with a magnetic strip. Seven day Travelcards can also be sold on a paper ticket or alternatively can be loaded onto an Oyster Card. A Travelcard lasting more than seven days can only be purchased on an Oyster Card.

When bought at a National Rail station or telesales office, Travelcards of any period of validity are only sold on a paper ticket with a magnetic strip. A limited number of National Rail ticket offices also sell tickets on Oyster Card.

The zones

Travelcards provide travel within six numbered zones arranged concentrically with Zone 1 (which includes the central areas of The City and the West End) at the middle and Zone 6 (which includes London Heathrow Airport and places such as Kingston upon Thames, Uxbridge, Upminster and Orpington) at the outer edge.

Travelcards are sold in a limited number of combinations of adjacent zones with different combinations available depending on time and length of validity. The zones are used in different ways on each mode of transport, such that:

  • On the London Underground, Docklands Light Railway and on National Rail the Travelcard is only valid within the zones indicated on the ticket;
  • On London Buses any Travelcard can be used for any journey within Greater London irrespective of the zones indicated on the ticket;
  • On London Trams any Travelcard can be used for any journey provided the Travelcard is valid in one or more of zones 3, 4, 5 or 6.

Beyond the fringes

There are circumstances in which Travelcards can be used outside Greater London. These are:

  • The London Underground Central Line includes some stations outside Greater London within the Epping Forest district of Essex which are included for fare purposes in zones 5 or 6;
  • The London Underground Metropolitan Line includes seven stations outside Greater London. For fare purposes these stations are arranged into four further zones (A, B, C and D), according to their distance from Central London;
  • There are some bus services that cross the Greater London boundary on which Travelcards are valid for the whole route including the sections outside Greater London;
  • Travelcards can also be bought for travel between any National Rail station outside Greater London, and a Travelcard zone within Greater London. Such Travelcards can only be bought from National Rail stations, and are not issued in three day forms. These Travelcards essentially combine a Travelcard, for use within Greater London, with a rail return (for one day Travelcards) or season (for longer validities) ticket from the nominated station to the Greater London boundary, and are valid in the same way as if such a combination was issued separately. One day Travelcards which include validity on National Rail routes outside Greater London are only valid for one journey in each direction on the rail route. Once the return part of the rail journey is completed the travelcard ceases to be valid.


Photocards are plastic cards containing a photograph of the ticket holder. When certain tickets are purchased they are "linked" to the photocards so they can only be used by that person. They are only required for travelcards of seven days or more which include travel on the National Rail network outside London, or Travelcards of a week or mores validity issued on a paper ticket by a National Rail station. Special photocards are issued to those who receive a discount, such as students.

Performance discounts

Where a travelcard is sold by a National Rail operator and depending on the operator issuing the card, Travelcards of a month or mores validity can attract discounts due to poor service when renewed. There are two performance monitors, the number of trains cancelled and the number of trains running to time, and if one or other of these monitors falls below a certain threshold a discount of 5% (or 10% if both monitors are below the threshold) applies to all renewed season tickets (including Travelcards) with a month or more's validity.

See also




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