Customers travelling with Southern, Thameslink, and Great Northern are getting TfL-style caps on weekly travel, with a guarantee that pay as you go journeys will never cost more than an equivalent weekly season ticket.

GTR Key Smartcard (c) Govia Thameslink Railway

With people working from home at least some of the week, more people are paying for travel on the day they travel rather than buying a weekly (or more) season ticket. That can mean people unexpectedly asked to come into the office on a fourth day would pay more for their travel that week than if they had bought a weekly season ticket.

Naturally that encourages people to avoid travelling more than three days unless they really can’t get out of it.

To encourage more people to travel on that fourth day, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) is launching a weekly cap on pay as you go fares for people using its keyGo contactless smartcard.

Mark Pavlides, Interim Chief Customer Officer at Govia Thameslink Railway, said: “Our simple tap-in, tap-out, pay-as-you-go keyGo system already guarantees our customers the cheapest walk-up fare of the day with none of the hassle of buying a ticket.

“The additional promise to never charge more than a weekly season ticket for travel between the same two stations means thousands of commuters returning to the office will never miss out on weekly season ticket deals, saving hundreds of pounds a week or month.”

Customers need to register online for a GTR Key Smartcard, sign up to use the keyGo service and take a minimum of four same-route journeys within the week (pre-loaded season ticket holders will not be eligible).

Customers will only be charged up to the value of the best value weekly season ticket for their selected route, and will be notified when their journeys reach the cap. Thereafter, any further journeys made on their chosen route will be at no further cost, meaning that once the weekly cap is reached, regular rail-goers will be able to travel for free.

Customers can register for a Key Smartcard through the Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern websites.

The upgrade also includes automatic notification of compensation claims.


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  1. Mike hudgell says:

    Now all they need to do is get rid of the unnecessary extra bits of plastic and make it work contactless.

  2. Keith says:

    I’ve never been a particular fan of their supposed smartcards. It looks like Thameslink have also good rid of their useless app, which couldn’t store tickets like other rail companies.

    What GTR/Thameslink need is to support contactless tap in/out payments at all their stations. The London ones already do, along with quite a few outside of London. Ideally it would need to allow Railcards to be linked to payment cards too.

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