The Oyster payment system has been found to be too complicated and is leading to commuters being "overcharged", London's public transport watchdog said today.
The dual system of Oyster reader machines at stations has been criticised in a London Travelwatch report, stating that almost no one they interviewed understood how they worked.
The confusion surrounds the system of yellow readers at Underground stations and pink readers at Overground stations.
According to the report:
If passengers joining the Overground from the Tube do not use the pink card readers at Overground stations, Transport for London computers may assume they have reached their destination not via the orbital rail link but by using the Tube though central London, which is in expensive Zone 1.
Trip from Camden Road to Feltham
- £7.20 (peak) or £4.90 (off peak) via Zone 1
- Via pink reader £3.80 (peak) or £2.40 (off peak)
West Ham to Crystal Palace
- £4.60 (peak) or £3.60 (off peak) via Zone 1
- Via pink reader £4.60 (peak) or £3.60 (off peak) via Zone 1
Currently, Oyster operates at all stations in Zones 1-6 and some sections of C2C and Greater Anglia, but the Department for Transport is considering a nationwide version.