Kids fares and Oyster cards on London Transport

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There is a range of concessions available to young people travelling around London. With different arrangements for different ages and methods of travel, they can be difficult to get your head around, so – with the help of Transport for London – we’ve set out to clarify exactly what’s on offer and what you need to do to get it

  • Under 11s

    Under 11s can travel free on buses and trams at all times. They can also travel free on the Tube, DLR and London Overground, if accompanied by an adult with a valid ticket, pass or Oyster card.

    Under 16s

    Young people who are under 16 can get an 11-15 Zip Oyster photocard that will allow them to travel free on buses and trams, pay half the adult rate on the Tube, DLR and London Overground and buy half-price Travelcard season tickets. The Oyster daily price cap means that they can travel all day on services where ‘pay as you go’ is available for a maximum cost of £1. Their 11-15 Oyster photocard will expire on Sept 30 following the end of the academic year in which they turn 16.For further information on this scheme visit www.tfl.gov.uk/tickets/faresandtickets/1020.aspx

    For general information on Oyster visit www.tfl.gov.uk/oyster. If you are unable to find the information you require, you can contact the Oyster Helpdesk on 0845 330 9876.

    Travel Without a Zip card

    Under 16s can buy an Off-Peak Day Travelcard for £2 without the need for a photocard (no form of identification is required and they can be purchased from a ticket machine); for Under 16s travelling with a valid adult-rate Travelcard holder, the Off-Peak Day Travelcard costs just £1. This allows travel on bus, Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground and National Rail services within Zones 1-6, from 9.30am Monday to Friday and all day at weekends and on public holidays.


    16-17 year olds

    All 16-17 year olds (whether London residents or not) can get a 16+ Oyster photocard that will allow them to travel at half the adult rate on buses, trams, Tube, DLR and London Overground. In addition, 16-18 year olds in qualifying full-time education, who live in a London borough, are eligible for free bus and tram travel with a 16+ Oyster photocard. (Qualifying full-time education means a minimum of 12 hours of guided learning per week, for a minimum of ten weeks, on further education courses such as A-levels (AS/A2), NVQ level 3 and the International Baccalaureate. Your school or college will be able to tell you whether your course qualifies.)
    Further details are available at www.tfl.gov.uk/tickets/faresandtickets/1018.aspx

    How apply for free travel

    I

    f you live in London

    If you live in London, you should apply for an 11-15 or 16+ Oyster photocard at your local Post Office. If it is your first Under 16s or 16+ Oyster photocard, or you are a 16+ applicant renewing your free travel concession, there is no fee. The card will be sent to the address given in your application within two weeks. If the card is lost, stolen or damaged, a replacement will cost £10 and can be obtained online at www.tfl.gov.uk/photocard or by contacting the Oyster helpline (0845 0170 330).Young people wishing to benefit from free bus and tram travel need to re-apply at the Post Office at the start of each academic year. Applications for 16+ travel concession can be made at Post Offices from Sept 1 to June 30. Applications can be processed outside this time by contacting the Oyster helpline: 0845 330 9876.

    Visitors to London

    If you are planning a visit to London, you can apply for your Oyster photocard online at www.tfl.gov.uk/photocard, and collect it at a Travel Information Centre (www.tfl.gov.uk/tickets/wheretobuytickets/travelinformationcentres/1086.aspx) when you arrive. You need to apply at least three weeks prior to your visit. Further options are available for groups (see www.tfl.gov.uk/tickets/faresandtickets/oneand3daytickets/2906.aspx).

    18+

    If you are older and coming to London to study, you may be eligible for the 18+ Oyster photocard scheme for students in full-time education. This scheme gives a 30 per cent discount on Travelcards and Bus Pass season tickets. Further information is available at: www.tfl.gov.uk/photocard

    5-10 Oyster photocards

    Parents may choose to obtain a 5-10 Oyster photocard for their child for various reasons: so that their child can travel free with an older sibling; to avoid having to ask a member of staff to let them through the gate; to purchase and use Travelcard season tickets on Oyster for use on National Rail services in London; because their child looks older (ie over 11).5-10 Oyster photocard application forms are available at the Post Office. You can apply once your child is five. Once they are 10 years 11 months, they should apply instead for the 11-15 Oyster photocard. Applications are submitted at the Post Office in exactly the same way as for a 11-15 Oyster photocard. Visitors from outside London can apply online at www.tfl.gov.uk/photocard to order a card for collection at a Travel Information Centre. They must apply a minimum of three weeks in advance. Replacements for lost or stolen cards are obtained at www.tfl.gov.uk/photocard or by calling 0845 0170 330 (a £10 fee is payable for duplicates).

    What you need to take when you apply for a photocard

    1. A completed application form.2. A full-face passport photo.3. Proof of age (valid passport/ID card from a European Economic Area/birth certificate). 4. Applicants for a 16+ Oyster photocard who are applying for free bus and tram travel also need a document that proves their address (it must bear the applicant’s name and address or the name of the applicant’s parent or guardian and the applicant’s address – eg, a recent utility bill, a council tax bill or a driving licence; mobile phone bills are not accepted).

    Who needs a signature from their school?

    For a 16+ Oyster photocard, the form requires the signature and official stamp of the applicant’s school or college.For an 11-15 Oyster photocard, a school signature is only required if the applicant does not have a birth certificate or passport to prove their age.

    Who needs to go to the Post Office?

    Anyone can submit the application, whether for a 5-10, 11-15 or 16+ Oyster photocard.

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Users say

82 comments
Mary
Mary

My 12 year old daughter, has a "11-15 photo Oyster card". About 2 weeks ago, it just stopped working on the buses. My daughter , now , just shows her card to the driver . She dreds for an "awkward driver" not to allow her on the bus. It should not be down to me to pay for a replacement. (Will that be the case?).Has anyone else experienced the same as me?

Oyster Guru
Oyster Guru

If you lost it, call 0845 017 0330... £10 charge and the post office wont do anything unless your card had expired!!!

sade
sade

i lost my oysret and need to apply for a duplicate. i have been to the post office where they asked me to send a postal order i have the order but how will they know i sent it ??

Gurphagjeet
Gurphagjeet

If u lose your card in a bus or it fell out and you remember where you where when the kast time you saw it you could go to the nearest oyster top up shop from where you last lost it and it may be there behind the till that happend to my brother luckily the shop was the main one on our road

Oyster Guru
Oyster Guru

@ Speedjester... Likelihood of them sending your card back to you is like having a White Xmas! They won't... Do your best to find it, otherwise you will need to call them to order a new one, costing you £10. Phone number is - 0845 017 0330 and it's option no. 1. If you do find it after ordering a new one, throw the old one away. It will never work again and if you're caught using a card that has been reported as lost or stolen, you'll be fined.

Speedjetster
Speedjetster

hello, i have lost my 16+ oyster card on one the buses. will they send it back to me, or do i have to apply for a new one?

s scott
s scott

My 13 year old son had his oyster card stolen in school, he didn't tell me as he knows money is very tight and we are struggling to make ends meet. Apparently this happens a lot at his school as kids know that there parents will have to pay a £10 replacement fee, and are often reluctant to inform them as they don't want to get into trouble. Anyway my son got on the bus after school in his uniform, he was scared to walk all the way home because of gangs of boys from other schools, Inspectors got on the bus and he was asked for his oyster card, he explained that someone stole his oyster card in school so they issued him a temporary day travel pass for him to get home. As soon as he got home he told me what happened and I immediately ordered him a new one via the oyster telephone line which cost £10.00, to my surprise the oyster card arrived quickly, it arrived on the second day after order. However, to my dismay I woke up saturday morning to find a fine of £50.00 reduced to £25.00 if paid before the 23rd December 2009, I would like to appeal as my sons oyster card had been stolen that day and instead of it costing me £10.00, I am now being punished by having to pay out a further £25.00, this is a total rip off, does anyone know what my chances are for appeal? Why are we being charged for stolen oyster cards, surely there should be a better system in place!!

Oyster Guru
Oyster Guru

@ Mrs K Rich... The helpline will only speak to the child or the parent who signed the form when they applied. Why you may ask? Because anyone could call knowing all the details of your grandson... How would someone over the phone know you're not a paedophile trying to see what buses your grandson gets? The Answer... Get your grandson to call.

zozo
zozo

They are kids when we want them to be...and adults when we want them to be... whilst they are at school they should be able to travel for free. Full stop, they don't earn, they can not drink which is good...the can not vote not good. Yes my child lost their card, we have to get a bus and train...much problems.

Mrs K Rich
Mrs K Rich

My grandson was staying with me when he lost his 11-16 bus pass..I rang tfl to get replacement I knew everyone of his details being his Gran - but tfl would not issue anything without speaking to his father who had applied for it originally. due to the data protection act.. what are they protecting I knew every detail already...I was willing to pay the £10 fee it would be sent to his home address..where does the data protection act need to come into use??? mental... thanks tfl its costing me £4 a day now until his parents get back...

Sarah F
Sarah F

well my i applied for an oyester card and the post strike hasn'ts ent it to me..so i have to pay 2 pounds to get on the bus each journey...what else can i do? S: x

Sandi
Sandi

I live in Surrey and travel via Travel Surrey bus line a few times a week. Would an Oyster card save me money? I only travel into London occasionally.

Dana
Dana

Right, so TFL state 'free' travel for children aged 11-16 right?? Yet, for all they money they are making already, they still continue to rack it in by robbing us of £10.00 for a replacement card!!! Come on TFL, kids, even adults misplace/lose items. It's seriously wrong. My child takes 2 buses to get to school which meant that on discovering this morning that the card was missing, I needed to give him £8.00....(EIGHT POUNDS FOR ONE DAY OF TRAVELLING)...Disgusting!! Then to top it off, I'm reading of the delay in receiving the replacement? At least employ more staff to action these replacements within a fair and just time scale TFL. Then again, we as the unhappy people will just let our steam off here and not challenge this robbery. Enough...

Me
Me

Hello Please help me. Do you know if you applied for +18 oyster card can you also apply for +16 oyster card? Because I applied for +18 oyster card and then I made a mistake because I dont want +18 oyster card I want +16 oyster card but they said that they can't cancell it ;////// Please help me

Hayley White
Hayley White

I am 18 and studying level 3 (a levels). Am I able to apply for 16+ form?

Grace Rungay.
Grace Rungay.

im 14 and applied for a 11-15 zip oyster last year. But i left it the bus and someone gave it to the driver, ive been to the bus station and they said theyve sent it up to some place in london. To be honest i have no way of getting it back because i dont have the pin number for it. I rang the helpline but i couldnt get through without it. What am i ment to do?

Sarah
Sarah

Hey, i applied for an 11-15 replacement oyster card online as i lost my other one, and i am still awaiting for it to arrive. But it says im non-resident in my details, but i live in London and my address in the application is in london. what should i do?

susan
susan

what is the advise centre?? do you have their number? was ur childs oyster card *seized* by the bus driver .. ?

Natalie
Natalie

If you lose your card just tell the advise centre that it was taken by a driver. They will replace it for nothing. My child lost their card and I was charged ten pounds to replace it. When the driver took it as it was not working they sent a free one to me.

Debbie
Debbie

WARNING!! Make no mistakes - NO second chances!! My 14 year old daughter scratched off her picture (not thinking it was important as nobody from London Transport had EVER looked at it). Then a jobs-worth in a hat and a clip board thinking he is very important, took it away and reported her (how big of him). They took her free travel away from her for a whole year!!!!!!! Naively, I appealed to their better nature asking them to just give her a warning as she wouldn't do it again, not realising that they dont have a better nature, just a bunch of self obsessed, heavy handed, over zealous office bods with delusions of Grandeur and a lamb kebab where their heart used to be. They must really love their jobs! and how important they must feel, taking away childrens only means of free transport, all for one lousy mistake, one can only assume that they don't have children as NO child is perfect!!

susan
susan

hi Janette, i really need your help. I'm confused because my oyster card was seized by the tfl police, i ordered a new one and a few days later it arrived but then after some months, i lost that oyster card .. Can i get another one? because my dad asked the post office and they said i can't get a new one as it was seized but when i called the oyster helpline, they said i didn't have to worry as a letter will be sent to my home and that i'll be able to get another. But the letter never came, i even gave them my address, its been about 3 weeks. So, now my dad has applied for a new one by sending £10 to the oyster card address, 1 week has passed, are oysters normally supposed to come in between 1-2 weeks? i m really worried i'll never get free travel , its sadder than i thought i'd be, i feel ignored by the oyster card company. PLEASE HELP

Shirley Moreira Ordonez
Shirley Moreira Ordonez

hi! i lost my oyster card on the bus and i can't go 2 school coz non of the bus want to me get on also im steel 15 yrs old and also i have work experience next week on 29th of june and on thrusday 25th of june i have my appoitment in heathow p[lz can u sent me other zip plz plz plz

Caroline Lawless
Caroline Lawless

My 15 year old daughters oyster card is not swiping so she is having trouble getting on the buses. As she has not lost it is she entitiled to a free replacement?

ll
ll

my oyser wold not come in 2 weeks and every day i cary to look at the post

john
john

i have lost my 16-18 card and cannot find my refrance number what can i do to get another one help me!

paige neal
paige neal

well i was on da bus and it dnt stop working till 1300 and as i went to get on iv pusshed it on the thing you put it on and it wasent working and now they wont let me on da bus and i have to pay 10 for a new wen i have 1 but the light goes red 4 sum reason and i have to wait ages to get 11

Jane Wilson
Jane Wilson

Why does my sons Zip oyster card always stop working after he has paid and travelled on the tube. How can we make it valid again for the bus/trams.

narges
narges

i have lost my zip card and i cant exactly find it! i dont know my digit numbers and i need help from someone! please please help me!

Clay-Anne
Clay-Anne

Hi, well i used my oyster card(11-15) on 2 buses when i was out with my friend and i was coming home on the bus and it stopped working it didnt beep when i touched it on the bus. I wanted to know can i get a new one before monday 20th april 2009 because i need my oyster for school.

malcolm
malcolm

any one know how i would get a replacement oyster for my son he has just lost it

Salman
Salman

Hi i have lost my zip card but i am not sure were i just want to know if anyone is using it if they are i want to cancel the card if not i am oing to try to find it at home. i have me 011033318930

charlotte
charlotte

FREE REPLACEMENT CALL THE NUMBER ON THE 11-15 ZIP HELPLINE PAGE THING ON THE TFL WEBSITE SPEAK TO THE PERSON AND SAY IT HAS STOPPED WORKING AND IT ISNT DAMAGED THEY SEND A REPLACEMENT WHICH YOU GET IN 3-5 DAYS THEY ALSO REPAY ANY TRAVEL COST FOR THE CHILD WHEN YOU SEND THEM TICKETS BUT FOR THIS YOU MUST HAVE THE OLD OYSTER CARD

canh
canh

please send for me a 16+ Oyster photocard

Cathy Moore
Cathy Moore

My son's Oyster Card was stolen at school recently and despite carrying a signed and dated note from the school, several drivers refused him entry. I have written letters of complaint to Transport for London and the local bus depots concerned. If this happens to your child I would encourage you to write and complain too. We must prevent children being potentially stranded as the streets are not safe nowadays!!

mark
mark

My oyster card got stolen and I don't know the 12 digit number ethier.

sam
sam

What if u lose ur oyster, y do u have to wait for it to expire before you can applie for another. i dnt think it should be like that. i think this oyster system is stupid at i think the fair for children should go back to 40p.

liam
liam

hi i have lost my oyster card and when i lost it before i had to pay £10 for a new one but a friend of mine told me that you dont have to pay for one so i am stuck and do not know what to do.

Richard
Richard

Hi I have lost my 11-15 zip card how do i get a new one and do i have to pay a fee

criselda
criselda

My daughter's oyster card (11-!5) stop working today. Expiry date is 30 Spt.2012. What do we do next as she uses two buses to get to secondary school. 12 digit no. is 0110088256 24. Please advice.

Transport for London
Transport for London

Further information about Oyster can be found at: www.tfl.gov.uk/oyster If you are unable to find the information you require or need help, please contact the Oyster Helpdesk on 0845 330 9876.

Vayana Skabrin
Vayana Skabrin

Hi, my name's Vayana Skabrin and im 12 years old. I have an oyster card but The problem is that my oyster is not ZiP which results to drivers not letting me go on the bus. When I go in, i show my oyster which is the older version but stil valid, and the drivers say that i have to click it on. But they don't understand that i have the older version. And now i applyed for a new one which is ZIP, and they are making me pay £10 as i already have a valid one. Until i get my zip card, what should i do, pay on the busses?

V F Melville
V F Melville

My child's oyster card was stolen at school. The next day she took the initial oyster card receipt onto the bus - but even with this evidence she was refused travel on the bus. My daughter is 11 - how many 11 year olds are 17 year olds in disguise trying to get a freebie on the bus???? It seems there are more inititives to stop TFL being ripped off rather than ensuring the safety of our children. This world we live in needs to worry less about profit and more about people.

Svajunasw
Svajunasw

i am 11 years old and i have lost my oyster card on a bus and i dont have the 12 digit number what can i do to get a new one

bee
bee

I think who ever invented the oyster card for 11-15 has cleverly thought about these oyster cards, how many 11 year olds are scatty and carefree ? of course when they loose or have it stolen a fee of £10 is payable to get a replacement my daughter has lost it twice now and im sure many other parents have had the same experience. I have made her pay it out of her pocket money but none the less i think it is totally unfair post a comment if your child has lost theres and im sure a huge amount of money is being collected by the TFL.

max
max

I have 11-15 oyster card and is not working what do i do ?

kieran brain
kieran brain

hi im 12 i have recently got my free zip oyster card stolen/lost at school i have to get the bus home everyday from school i have tried everything to get a new one but i just dont know what to do so if anyone could please help me i would be most thankfull from kieran :)

Carter
Carter

my oyster card doesn't work on busses any longer, can you explain and can i still use it on the tube? its 11-15

sammm
sammm

my sister has lost her oster card she doesnt knw the number neither do i she has a 11-15 year old oster card where else can i do it because i cant do it online with out the number. And the help line confuses me what shall i do

mahrukh
mahrukh

i lost my 11-16 oyster a week ago.i don't know the code as well.and i need 1 in 2 days 4 school.do i hav 2 get a travel card