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Does My Oyster Card Know Where I Am?

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I commute Station A Zone 2 to station B Zone 5, swiping my oyster card on entrance and exit. From station A I can get to station B by crossing through Zone 1, or go in the opposite direction and not go near Zone 1.

I am being charged (double) for going through Zone 1.

How does the Oyster Card know I am going through Zone 1?

The station staff told me 'it just knows'. Surely not true?

I have not tried the route without passing through Zone 1 yet., it is 20 minutes longer.

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if its 20 minutes longer i'm guessing no one will go that way? therefore its charging you the right amount :unsure:

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There are only two ways I can think of whereby the system could track you en route: RFID receivers that detect the chip in your card as you pass through the tube system, or software that detects when you check out at the destination relative to the arrival time of a train. In other words, if you check out shortly after the arrival of a train on the route that would have taken you through zone 1, it assumes that you've gone through zone 1 and charges you accordingly. But if you check out in the same crowd as an arrival from the train on the route that did not take you through zone 1, it assumes that you didn't. But that wouldn't be 100% reilable, because what if the two trains arrive more or less simultaneously?

If you are so inclined, one possible experiment might be to buy an RFID-blocking wallet and keep your card in it at all times except when checking in and out.

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Think I will see what happens when I take the alternative route next week. I thInk they are presuming I will take the Zone 1 route, in which case, how can they? They are removing my choice in what I pay.

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if its 20 minutes longer i'm guessing no one will go that way? therefore its charging you the right amount :unsure:

Go the short way. Wait 20 minutes and then go through. See if it thinks you went the long way.

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I commute Station A Zone 2 to station B Zone 5, swiping my oyster card on entrance and exit. From station A I can get to station B by crossing through Zone 1, or go in the opposite direction and not go near Zone 1.

I am being charged (double) for going through Zone 1.

How does the Oyster Card know I am going through Zone 1?

The station staff told me 'it just knows'. Surely not true?

I have not tried the route without passing through Zone 1 yet., it is 20 minutes longer.

AFAIK the system assumes that if there was an option to go via zone 1 you would have taken it (ie you will be charged maximum fare). If you go via the non zone 1 route you will probably see pink oyster validators. By swiping on one of these you tell the system that you have taken the cheaper route and will be charged accordingly. If you don't see the pink ones swipe out and in on yellow ones and it should do the same trick. Staff should be able to advise you properly though.

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AFAIK the system assumes that if there was an option to go via zone 1 you would have taken it (ie you will be charged maximum fare). If you go via the non zone 1 route you will probably see pink oyster validators. By swiping on one of these you tell the system that you have taken the cheaper route and will be charged accordingly. If you don't see the pink ones swipe out and in on yellow ones and it should do the same trick. Staff should be able to advise you properly though.

I'd assume it does it on time.

THere is nothing active in the oyster card which tracks which train you got on - it's only interaction is swiping in and out.

If they were being intelligent when they designed it, they could account for average route times and charge you accordingly - it's also possible they just assume you take the quickest/most expensive route and charge you accordingly.

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I'd assume it does it on time.

THere is nothing active in the oyster card which tracks which train you got on - it's only interaction is swiping in and out.

If they were being intelligent when they designed it, they could account for average route times and charge you accordingly - it's also possible they just assume you take the quickest/most expensive route and charge you accordingly.

????

AFAIK time only factors if you take too long for a journey. More info at link below.

Trying to work out average journey times would be nigh on impossible due to variations in tube + train frequency and fullness/capacity before you even start to consider delays etc.

What is scandalous is that they don't automatically issue refunds if you swipe back out of a station due to a cancelled train or suspended service.

Re the pink validators which I thought I'd carefully explained above, check this out:

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tickets/14839.aspx

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The maximum journey time is news to me. A 100 minute time limit for my journey or I am charged maximum fare of £7.40. That's a scandal seeing as their own delays could easily cause this!

When the car is fixed my partner will be dropping me off closer to Zone 3 which fixes it.

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Woth also point out the range of RFID in the cards is only about 8cm.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oyster_card#Technology

So its not some big brother tech either as the machines struggle to read them when you go past the machines sometimes.

Quite.

The real big brother is in your pocket in the form of a mobile phone. Your position and whereabouts are tracked over 200 times a day http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/26/business/media/26privacy.html?_r=1

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I commute Station A Zone 2 to station B Zone 5, swiping my oyster card on entrance and exit. From station A I can get to station B by crossing through Zone 1, or go in the opposite direction and not go near Zone 1.

I am being charged (double) for going through Zone 1.

How does the Oyster Card know I am going through Zone 1?

The station staff told me 'it just knows'. Surely not true?

I have not tried the route without passing through Zone 1 yet., it is 20 minutes longer.

I'm surprised by this. Do you only swipe in at A and out at B, or do you have to touch in and out at other stations en-route? Would you post your route so I could have a better idea what you're doing? If you just touch in and out at A and B, I can't see how you're being charged for zone 1. The "it just knows" answer is, quite frankly, ********.

You mention time limit - I got caught by this for the first time the other day because of delays. Just went to the desk and complained - I got the difference refunded.

Sometimes I just pay 50p more for the paper travelcard. Can sit on the Underground all day if I wanted to with one of those.

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Woth also point out the range of RFID in the cards is only about 8cm.

Which is essentially limited by the power of the receiver. You can buy receivers designed to be able to pick up radio stations transmitted from the other side of the planet, which their broadcasters do not intend to be received outside their country of origin. I'm sure that it's possible to develop an RFID receiver that works over a much longer distance that the system originally specified, and such things might already exist.

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Havent been down to London recently and certainly havent visited all stations but I seem to remember just like normal tickets, you have go to through barriers.

Well duh !

Some routes involve you going though several barriers at the same station. Bank, for instance. You have to exit the Waterloo and City line and re-enter the station for the Central or Nothern line. Hence the system realises you've gone through Bank (hence zone 1), but won't charge you for exiting and re-entering the network. I was trying to find out if he's done this. Going Zone 2 to Zone 5 and being charged for going through Zone 1 is very odd, unless he's commuting across London. If he's doing that, there are only a few routes he could be taking.

Oh and BTW - there are loads of barrier-free stations. For instance, the DLR. Almost none on those. Also now the national rail network accepts Oyster across the zones, there are a lot there as well.

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Well duh !

Some routes involve you going though several barriers at the same station. Bank, for instance. You have to exit the Waterloo and City line and re-enter the station for the Central or Nothern line. Hence the system realises you've gone through Bank (hence zone 1), but won't charge you for exiting and re-entering the network. I was trying to find out if he's done this. Going Zone 2 to Zone 5 and being charged for going through Zone 1 is very odd, unless he's commuting across London. If he's doing that, there are only a few routes he could be taking.

Oh and BTW - there are loads of barrier-free stations. For instance, the DLR. Almost none on those. Also now the national rail network accepts Oyster across the zones, there are a lot there as well.

If for example you go from Camden Town (zone 2) to Morden (Zone 5), the most obvious route is straight down the Northern Line via Zone 1. You could however go via Kentish Town, West Hampstead, Wilisden Junction, Clapham Junction and Balham to avoid Zone 1; or you could find an even more improbable route via East London.

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You could however go via Kentish Town, West Hampstead, Wilisden Junction, Clapham Junction and Balham to avoid Zone 1

And you could probably cycle it in less time than it takes to do that. When I was growing up in Wimbledon and made frequent trips to relatives in Golders Green, the journey only took me about 10-15 minutes longer by bike than it took Mother on the Northern Line.

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I swipe in at A and out at B, no more. It looks like I would have to find a pink swiper at the station that would prove I had avoided Zone 1. It halves the cost, so worth doing.

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I swipe in at A and out at B, no more. It looks like I would have to find a pink swiper at the station that would prove I had avoided Zone 1. It halves the cost, so worth doing.

I didn't realise there are separate pink validators to prove you haven't gone through Zone 1! I'll keep an eye out for them.

Looking on Wiki the list of stations with them are

Gospel Oak

Gunnersbury

Highbury & Islington

Kensington Olympia

Rayners Lane

Stratford

West Brompton

Willesden Junction

Blackhorse Road

Wimbledon

Richmond

Whitechapel

Canada Water

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Someone in the military (so I trust them but have never verified it) told me the US have developed a portable (read in a big metal briefcase) a device that is so senstive it can pick up the EMF emitted from computer screens and with some fancy algorithms can calculated and display a rough image of what the user is looking at on their computer. Apparantly theres 3 of these devices in the UK.

Probably only works with CRT monitors though, and they're not that common any more. If you can do anything with LCD ones then digital ones will be harder to decypher than analogue.

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This tracking technology is getting creepy.

For example, at the end of national news on TV, they say "and now for the news in your area".

But how do they know where I am? How do they knowwwwwwww?

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  • 343 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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