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Student travel cards (Oyster)

Oyster cards

Oyster cards are the cheapest way to pay for single fare journeys on the underground, buses, DLR and some trains in London. It is up to you to determine which Oyster card will best suit your needs. See the info below and TfL Ticket Fares to learn more about the costs for travelling, and visit Transport in and out of London for tips on using public transport. 

  • Pay As You Go

If you do not travel frequently, Pay As You Go may be best for you. Cards can be purchased at tube stations, some newsagents, or online for a refundable £5 deposit. You can then add credit to the card as needed. The rates charged are significantly cheaper than if you pay cash for a paper ticket. Oyster also caps your daily travel, which means that you can travel as many times as you like in a day and you'll never pay more than the cost of an equivalent Day Travelcard.

  • Student Oyster Photocard

LSE will be participating in the Student Oyster Photocard scheme for 2015/16, however TFL typically prevents students from ordering a Student Oyster Photocard until the university registration period has officially begun. Please note that you are not eligible to apply for this card until after your designated Registration date. You must also know your London address.

Do not apply before you register, or before you have a London address, or your application will be rejected.  

Full-time students over the age of 18 who travel frequently may prefer to purchase a Student Oyster Photocard for a deposit in order to receive a 30% discount on Travelcard and Bus Pass season tickets. It does not offer a discount on Pay As You Go fares. Season tickets can be purchased in increments of seven days, one month or longer periods up to a year.  

In order to be eligible to apply, you must be aged 18 or over, be fully registered in an eligible course and be living at a London address during term time.

To apply online, visit the TFL website.  Select London School of Economics and Political Science from the drop-down list. You will be asked to upload a digital photo and pay by credit card. 

Once you apply, the LSE Students' Union will typically approve your application within 1 week.  (Please note that this can take longer in September/October due to the volume of students applying.)  Once approved, your card will then be posted to the address you provided to TFL, typically within 2 weeks.  You will need to pay standard Oyster card fares until your Photocard arrives.  Please contact the Students' Union directly with any questions.

  •  Contactless Payment

London buses no longer accept cash payments for fares. Therefore, it is important that you ensure you have an oyster card with credit on it before travelling. You can also pay for bus fares with a contactless payment card, if you have been issued one from your bank. For more information, see the TFL contactless fares and payments webpage.

  •  Link your Young Persons Railcard to your Oyster card to save money

If you have a Young Persons Railcard you can link it to your Oyster card to save money while travelling on the London underground. This will typically reduce the cost of buying some off-peak day travelcards and single off-peak pay as you go fares by 1/3. For more information, please visit the 16-25 Railcard website.

Young Persons Railcard

The Young Persons Railcard entitles individuals aged between 16-25, or over the age of 26 and in full-time education to a discount on trains. Click here for more information about obtaining a Railcard.

Railcards can usually be purchased online, but some students may need to complete an application form and bring it to the Student Services Centre to be stamped and signed. Please ensure that your section of the form has been filled out completely before visiting the Centre.  If this is the first time you have applied, you may also need to bring a passport-sized photograph with you to be validated as well.

Young Persons Coach Card

The Young Persons Coach Card entitles full-time students to a discount off coach travel.  To apply, visit the National Express website and pay by credit card. 

Other student discount cards

In addition to the travel discounts listed above, students are often entitled to a number of discounts at a variety of other types of vendors.  It may be worth asking whether you qualify for a discount at shops or tourist locations.  In some cases, it may be cheaper for you to join a student discount scheme.  See Student discount cards to learn more.

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