Give Away Your Travelcard

Note: Using a Travelcard given to you by a third party is ILLEGAL. Using such a Travelcard is fraud, and giving away your Travelcard makes you an accessory. Travelcards are strictly non-transferable.

Help make this world a little better.

Do you ever use one-day Travelcards? If so, what do you do with them when you're finished with them? I'll hazard a guess at a couple of possibilities:

  • You leave it in your pocket, whereupon you find it the next day and throw it away.
  • You throw it in the first bin you see after getting off the train or bus.

I used to do both of these on a regular basis. But a very good friend of mine suggested something better: why not give it away? Find someone who's about to buy a ticket from one of the ticket machines, tap them on the shoulder, and say: "Excuse me, I don't need my Travelcard any more. You can have it for free."

It's important to stress free, because otherwise your chosen recipient might think you're a tout. In fact, they almost always do, until you say that magic free word. Then watch the smile appear on their face. I tend to pick people who look like they need it, perhaps because they're having a bad day.

Try it. I promise, you'll like it. -- Earle

I do this too. Be aware, though, it is still technically fraud, and doing LRT out of revenue. So definately pick someone who looks as if they most need it, and not in front of LRT staff... ;-)

Somebody gave their travelcard to me once. I used it without thinking about it properly and felt terribly terribly guilty afterwards. I am not sure this is a good thing to do. The travelcard is sold for use by one person only. --Kake

More that technically fraud, it's actually fraud. LRT take a very dim view of this. However, someone might well leave a still-valid travelcard where it might be picked up, rather than actually giving it to someone else. Noticed them stuck in phone booths and the like? -- RobertBrook

A friend of mine claimed to have been given a good telling off by a plain clothes tube worker at [King's Cross]? when he tried giving his travelcard away there. - [GeorgeBrisco]?

When I buy a Travelcard, I'm buying access for one person to the system from the time of purchase until midnight. At the time of purchase, that person is me, but so what? If I give my card to someone else, it's the same effect as me using the system. If we were both to use the card simultaneously somehow (let us pretend for a moment that it is possible), then of course that would be wrong. But that's not the case. The number of people using the system remains constant when I give my Travelcard away. If I throw it away, I don't see that as getting value for my money. I paid for now-until-midnight usage of the system by one person (not a person but one person - in terms of logic, ∃x where x is a person, not ∃!x) and, by God, I intend to get what I paid for. -- Earle

OK, I'm carrying on beyond reason now, but even standard tickets have printed on the back "not transferrable". I'm not saying its sensible, but that seems to be the nub. You are describing what you would have liked to have bought, not what you actually bought! -- [GeorgeBrisco]?

Call it a philosophical protest. -- Earle

Surely this kind of content would be more suited to a personal blog? It really is more about Earle's philosophy than anything else... :-) -- elvum

I disagree; I think this is the sort of discussion perfectly suited to a site about London, which is why I put the original idea here in the first place. -- Earle

(Great! I'll join in again then.) Bottom line is, surely, that actually giving your travelcard to someone else is against LUL's bylaws. Making in illegal. you might not like that, but, well, there you go. If you were to 'drop' your Travelcard, and someone else was to pick it up, then LUL might well find it difficult to prosecute you. They might also have difficulty prosecuting someone who picked up your card. That's if they could be bothered chasing you at all, which is doubtful in these Oystery days. -- RobertBrook

It may be illegal but it definitely makes someone's day and surely that its worth it. This happened to me the other week when I was about to buy a One Day Travelcard for Zones 1-2. It was 8pm and the person who gave it to me had finished for the day with the ticket and it saved me some money for my night out. As an aside and just as fraudulent I do this in Car Parks when there's a hour plus left on the ticket I give it to someone, it really surprises me more people don't do this. What also surprises me is the initial re-action you get. - Grant Friend

Last edited 2007-05-27 20:16:15 (version 19; diff). List all versions.