It’s been two whole decades since the very first Oyster Card was created and London travel was completely revolutionised. Since that day (June 30 2003), more than 125 million people have fumbled around in their wallets and tapped through the gates at record-breaking speed, in fear of the angry mob of rush-hour Londoners behind them.
Over the past 20 years, Oyster has made travelling around London so much speedier and has constantly evolved to keep up with the needs of us city-dwellers. Oyster also paved the way for other cities in the world to introduce pay-as-you-go travel, so of course TFL wanted to celebrate. And how will 20 years of topping-up and tapping be commemorated, I hear you ask? With the release of a brand-spanking-new limited edition Oyster Card, of course!
The snazzy new smartcards will cost you £7 (plus however much you wish to top up) and will be available at ticket machines in all London Underground stations in Zone 1, as well as all visitor centres and selected Oyster ticket shops. There’s been no mention of how many will be available so I’d recommend getting yourself into Zone 1 pretty sharpish if you fancy getting your hands on one.
Shashi Verma (Chief Technology Officer at TFL) said: “we are immensely proud to celebrate two decades of the Oyster card making travelling in London easier”, whilst Michael Roberts (Chief Executive for London TravelWatch) said: “The Oyster card has become as synonymous with travel in London as the black cab or red bus. And twenty years on, although contactless payment is becoming ever-more popular, many Londoners still rely on their trusty Oyster card”.
This isn’t the first limited edition card that TFL have created, this 20th anniversary edition follows in the footsteps of cards created for the 2011 royal wedding, the 2012 Olympics and of course: the much anticipated Elizabeth Line. Blimey, I’m going to be in the market for a new purse if TFL carry on the way they’re going.
So what are you waiting for? Go and grab a swanky new card and celebrate 20 years of the capital city well and truly being our oyster.