LONDON FARE ZONES
For the purposes of spreading the cost of tickets and fares according to how near to central London you travel and also how far you travel, London is split into 9 fare zones. When purchasing tickets you must make sure you are paying for each zone you will be travelling in (see map above for rough guide). There are 6 main zones which are ringed areas around London. Zone 1 being central London and zone 6 the outer areas of greater London including Heathrow airport. Zones 7,8 and 9 being a small section of the far North West corner of London and for most people not part of the main commuter routes. Note that buses and trams do not use the zone system and they charge a flat fare for any part of London.
If a station is on 2 zones which zones do you pay for?
You pay for the cheapest zone of the 2 providing you have not passed through any higher value zones. That is to say the highest value zone is 1 (central London). then 2 and so on. So if you travel to a station such as Willesden Green which is in both zones 2 and 3 you will only pay for zone 3 providing your journey to that station has not taken you through any zones in higher value (which would be 1 and 2). So the direction and route to the final station is the all important criteria.
The most basic fare option is the standard single fare. In other words you arrive at your station or bus stop and pay for one fare there and then. This is fine if you are doing just one journey but becomes expensive if you are combiПing modes of transport or travelling more than once on the London transport system. Not to mention that using the bus service normally means making sure you have the correct change for each journey. There are several options for saving money over one or more days, and indeed per journey, and for making it easier to pay.
OYSTER PRE PAY
The main system of payment being used now is the oyster pre pay system, an electronic ticketing system. This is basically a card that you load with credit and can be used at stations just with a wave (the range of the system is around 10cm).
You can purchase tickets for using a combination of transport services at newsagents, underground stations, tourist information centres or retail outlets displaying the travelcard sign. They can be loaded on your Oyster card. Best value for 7 or more days.
If you are only using the bus service you do not need a Travelcard. You can purchase an all day ticket for the bus only or options for up to 1 year season tickets which will be far cheaper than the travelcard options.
Tube and DLR :
fares dependant on number of zones your ticket is required for
Standard adult fare on the tube and DLR is between £3 and £4 (when using zone 1 without an Oyster Card)
Cheapest and best value fare options: