Your 2019 in London Transport

I see a large number of people paying for their transport with contactless. I am guessing most are daily commuters.

Every way I calculate it, contactless is more expensive for me than an Annual Travelcard.

So what I am curious, to those who have used contactless exclusively in 2019 as a daily commuter is your transport less than an Annual?

Just fo a search for TfL in the feed :slight_smile:

Shows totals.

I do not live in London, so do not use TfL, however, I do find this thread mildly interesting as I am sure there are many commuters who use their contactless cards as you have and never considered the total expenditure as it is probably budgeted for weekly or monthly through wages or salary.

I assume an Annual Travelcard needs to be paid for in advance and that may put some commuters off as they (a) need to find the lump sum, (b) may wonder whether they will use it enough, © may not have great faith in the TfL reliability and occasionally use other methods of travel, such as, dare I say, walk.

Then of course, a change in circumstances during the year may render it useless.

I’ll keep an :eye: on this and see what it concludes.

1 Like

I think this may be a good part of it. Some
offices have interest free loans.

I also some people only factor in work. When I did the calculations, it might have been cheaper on contactless if I took all my annual leave outside London and NEVER took a journey on the weekend. When doing the maths contactless was then cheaper by 2 or three returns journeys.

It is hard to imagine someone who never makes a single extra journey in an entire year.

The cost difference between Annual and Contactless is shrinking though as there is a PAYGO fare freeze whilst Annuals are going up each year.


I wonder if Harriet is a member of this Community Forum and prepared to check her 2019 feed? :grin:

Clearly a Monzo TfL user.

If you are, great feature Harriet :+1:


By what sort of amount are we talking in your individual case? Tens, Fifties, Hundreds?

Annual Travelcard for 2019: £1648

@ 46.4 working weeks in the year. ~ £35.5 a week.

Bus + Tube: £9.60 return. Capped (£8.20)

Weekly Cap (£41.20)

£41.20 * 46.4 = £1,911.68 or £263.68 more

1 Like

Significant difference in your case then mate.

I too use an annual travel card, which saves me about £70 a month. Its a shame TfL are yet to link my annual travel card to my debit card so I can use Express Transit!


I lived in London 4 years ago.
I still remember how was my day to day expenses.

Those times I didn’t have money for annually travel card but definitely it was cheaper than Top up my oyster card or buy weekly pass.
I traveled most of the times by bus or walked. I loved those journeys on double-decker buses.
I traveled more often when I had day off so in my case it would be much cheaper with annually pass.

I did a quick calculation what would be the difference now if I still would live there:
Only bus ticket: I would save between £190- £250.
All services: £370-£495.

That’s a lot of money, especially those times when I saved only £200 in 5 months.

1 Like

It is less expensive for me. I tend to work from home two days each week, so only use TfL on four days (including one at the weekend). I also spend around seven weeks each year away from London.

Ultimately, that means £5 x 4 days x 45 weeks = £900, to which I’d add £80 for incidental trips. This works out at £980 for the year rather than the £1404 that a travelcard would cost me.

1 Like

Does your Monzo history confirm that? I tend to think people underestimate their travel.

Just out of interest do many of you who buy annual/monthly travelcards travel for work and expense your travel?

I only occasionally use public transport to get to work so I use Oyster PAYG. Makes it super easy to do my expenses too.

I also have a Railcard which is great because my office is in zone 3 and if I make any trips into zone 1 after work I get charged the off peak fare with the discount.

I do not expense my travel.

An Annual Travel card comes with a gold railcard free and ad a national railcard for only £10

I’ve stuck with contactless mostly for simplicity.

I’ve not run the numbers in a little while, but there were a good number of factors that meant it probably wouldn’t give a saving;

  • My work commute is zone 2-3 while I often would go into Z1 of an evening / weekends.
  • I generally WFH some days.
  • And I often end up travelling for work

So broadly I don’t think I’d actually save anything

1 Like

I always buy an annual railcard, but didn’t know you could get a railcard with this. Is the gold railcard like a 25-30 card (which I bought this year)?

You say that, but I was confused as to why she apparently only used Monzo for travel and not for the rest of her spending

I thought I lost my bank card last week and panic-cancelled it, so the only way I can get to my money currently is through PayPal.

Unless it was the Monzo card she lost immediately after using it to travel, I don’t understand why she wouldn’t just transfer some more money to that account and use it instead? Similarly, she

stupidly pay it on my card even though I have €20 in my wallet.

but this shouldn’t be a problem if she used her Monzo card, it’s only stupid if you’re using a card that charges its own tweaked exchange fee and a foreign currency transaction fee.

tl;dr, I’d love to know why she doesn’t use Monzo more.


The gold railcard is 1/3 off fares within the Gold Card area, roughly SE England. Also 1/3 off all off-peak tube fares. This is free.

You can also buy one alternate National Railcard at £10

1 Like

Yeah, perhaps I should have been clearer. My comment was more in relation to the diverse week she had compared to some of the mundane offerings in that weekly BBC article, not the use of the Monzo card which clearly appears to have been just the once, by the look of it.

I found that week of her life quite interesting. Certainly in comparison to my own, and certainly my youth at her age, which was a few decades ago :grin: