Even in Bournemouth, there’s still bits of casework to do.
An email arrived from a woman, drawing my attention to the end of the bus Saver tickets. These were the pre-pay single journey tickets (the equivalent for buses of the tube ‘carnet’). They were particularly useful if you had a bus pass, or latterly an Oyster card, and were travelling with someone who did not. Because they were undated they were extremely flexible.
I used to keep a few in my purse in case of emergencies, but to be honest I’ve not done so for a couple of years now. It may be such a minority choice now that Transport for London thought no-one would miss the bus Saver.
But my correspondent will. She works with a group of vulnerable adults and homeless people. Bus Saver tickets have been invaluable to her, when taking them on trips or sending them off on appointments, when their chaotic lifestyles wouldn’t make them retaining or topping up an Oyster card a reliable option.
It may be that she can get a set of pre-pay Oystercards and loan them out, but that’s obviously more complicated, and opens up a different set of relationships, than simply handing out Savers. It’s good to encourage more self-reliance, but that should be at the right time for each individual, not forced by TfL policy.
I’m not aware that there’s been any information, let alone consultation, about this change. But for all the warm words about accessibility, it seems there’s at least one needy group that’s losing out.