We’ve all come a-cropper at the ticket barriers after forgetting to tap in or out and getting charged the stonking maximum fare, but it turns out that TfL is doing pretty nicely out of our forgetfulness. New figures show that London commuters have forked out £365 million in the last six years for all the times they forgot to tap in and out of train stations or encountered a faulty barrier, according to the Evening Standard. These incomplete journeys charge commuters £7.80, the maximum fare at peak times, and this money is kept in the TfL kitty unless passengers apply for a refund or are automatically reimbursed.
Money-draining hot spots include King's Cross, Bank, Victoria and Stratford stations where Oyster card users gave up £1 million – and that's just the figure for 2016. In fact, the amount of money raised from incomplete journeys has increased by a whopping £53m in 12 months, rising from £277m in 2015 to £330m in 2016, and it's a pretty bleak picture where refunds are concerned, too. Since 2010, £72m has been returned to customers who forgot to tap out, while those using contactless cards who did not tap in or out have been charged £40m since 2015, with just £5m reimbursed.
The figures have led Lib Dem leader Tim Farron to call out the current system for treating passengers like 'cash cows', while TfL says it has regular announcements and signage at stations reminding customers to touch in and out, and also run regular marketing campaigns. Congratulations are in order, however, for Sudbury Town commuters, which was the station where commuters are least likely to forget to tap out. Give yourselves a pat on the back, guys.
In other tube news, tube passengers are exposed to 'eight times more pollution than motorists'.