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Part-time season tickets for part-time workers: what do you think?

(31 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 11-Mar-14 10:15:21

There's been some noise recently about the possibility of rail companies selling part-time season tickets to people who work, er, part-time. At the moment, season tickets cost the same amount whether they are used three, four or five working days a week, meaning that those who work part-time pay more per commuting journey than their full-time counterparts.

The arguments for part-time season tickets are summarised in this blog post by the Campaign for Better Transport, but here's a quick run-down:

women are more likely to work part-time than men are, so some have argued that this is a matter of gender equality;
a part-time worker in the south-east would save an estimated £700-£1400 per year on the cost of commuting into London (other cities are available blush);
cheaper journeys for part-time commuters would make it easier for parents to work flexibly, including (if it suits them) from home;
more people working flexibly, including from home, would help to ease congestion on overcrowded rush-hour commuter routes.

We'd be interested to hear whether you all think this sounds like a sensible proposal, or whether you think that part-time workers need to take the rough with the smooth.

Do please use this thread to tell us what you think. (And if you feel strongly that you like the idea and would like to support the Campaign for Better Transport's campaign on it, have a look at this link.)


twofingerstoGideon Tue 11-Mar-14 22:39:47

Excellent idea. I drive to work because of the cost of public transport (35 minute journey - approx. £17/day) vs a 25 minute drive. If I could buy a season ticket covering my 4 day week I'd think twice about driving. Better for the environment, surely?

territt Wed 12-Mar-14 10:58:56

depends really, cant see the conductors wanting to check what days are on the ticket, they like to walk stright though.

allso what about people that only travel Mon-Fri, they have to pay for all 7 days, are they goin gto be aloud a 5 day ticket?

TheOldestCat Wed 12-Mar-14 11:08:06

YES! A very sensible idea. I commute to London from Kent twice a week - it costs me £51 a day (before the tube and DLR).

It's only because my boss is brilliant about flexible working that I can go in later one day a week and pay for an off-peak fare (a snip at £27). This is a big ask as I don't get to the office until 10:40.

When I was promoted recently, which meant going into the office more, I nearly turned it down because my payrise initially didn't cover my extra travel costs. I don't live in a huge mansion with grounds - we have a small terrace with a tiny yard; we just couldn't have afforded a place in London. That may seem irrelevant to a request for part-time season tickets, but I think the current cost of commuting reflects a different time.

Goblinchild Wed 12-Mar-14 11:18:26

Why not just have a ticket that can be used for a certain number of journeys?
Like an Oystercard, but nationally.

twofingerstoGideon Wed 12-Mar-14 14:28:45

Or a carnet?

turkeyboots Wed 12-Mar-14 14:38:55

Fab idea, I totally support it. An annual season ticket from my house to work is £8k. A part time option would be great, as you really have to travelling every day to get value from the current season ticket.

Goblinchild Wed 12-Mar-14 14:43:07

Yes twofingers, that's what I was thinking of. But new and shiny with an electronic chip thingy for scanning.

Sillylass79 Wed 12-Mar-14 14:53:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NotCitrus Wed 12-Mar-14 17:32:38

What about bringing back the Carnet - pay for 10 journeys, get 1 or 2 free?
Or extending Oyster's reach beyond Zone 6?

Probably wouldn't help me financially as while I work 3 days a week travelling before 9.30 so no Oyster discount, I can get a Disabled Railcard discount if I buy a paper ticket on the day. Which is not only a right faff but half the reason I have a Railcard is that it's hard for me to manipulate machines. So being able to buy a dozen tickets at a time would be really helpful.

A set number of journeys should be easier to create than ensuring a ticket is only valid on set days.

Waggamamma Wed 12-Mar-14 17:40:13

I live in Scotland and my train line offer a version of this. It's called a flexi pass. It is ten single journey tickets that must be used within a month (a carnet? ). I work 3 days per week and it saves me about £2 per day.

It works for me and I don't understand why other companies don't offer it.

BackforGood Wed 12-Mar-14 17:41:05

What GoblinChild said.
Lots of people would like the slightly discounted prices achieved by being able to but a card / book of 10 tickets to use when they needed them, but where I live discounts are only available if you but a weekly or monthly pass, which works out more expensive than individual tickets 2 days or 3 days, but a lot more expensive per journey than those who use the pass every day.
We live very close to a train station, but tickets bought individually are so expensive we don't use the train anywhere near as much as we would if we could get a "regular user" or "bulk buy" deal like this.

BackforGood Wed 12-Mar-14 17:41:33

x posted with many - yup, like suggested above

purpleroses Wed 12-Mar-14 17:45:30

I think the current system is really unfair and the lack of part time season tickets are what prevent me from progressing in my career. The finances of commuting stack up fine if I was to work full time. But if I want to be part time or work from home part time I would have to pay the same cost of travel as if I was going in 5 days a week.

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 17-Mar-14 14:51:20

Thanks very much for all your thoughts - anyone else?

BackOnlyBriefly Fri 21-Mar-14 18:48:43

It's a great idea, but why would the rail companies want to charge less? I always thought their ideal would be just running one train per day for one single passenger, but that passenger paying hundreds of millions for the privilege.

It would have to mean that a lot more people bought tickets who don't already. If it just meant every part time worker paid less it would surely be a disaster for them.

fuckwittery Fri 21-Mar-14 19:44:42

We have carnets on our route, buy 10 for price of 9, 3 months validity. Best is that you can buy one way peak and one way off peak if you work out of the ordinary rush hour times. Was quite happy with that as a saving.

territt Tue 25-Mar-14 09:40:51

Mon-Fri commuters are already subsidizing those that travel on weekends/off peak. Why should part time workers be any different?

MackerelOfFact Tue 25-Mar-14 10:21:24

But surely season tickets are a discount for those who use the system most - ie. those who travel to the extent that buying daily tickets would stack up to more than the cost of the equivalent season ticket? If you work part-time, you're using the system less, so you don't get the discount - it's like any economy of scale, surely?

Although I agree that train tickets are hideously overpriced, I don't think it's up to the TOCs to subsidise part-time workers. The onus should be on employers to allow flexible working so employees can travel off-peak and access cheaper travel should they wish.

ConcreteElephant Sun 06-Apr-14 09:47:55

Same as Fuckwittery here. Childcare and commute pretty much wipe out my part-time salary so any saving is very welcome.

I spent enough money in the years I was an annual season ticket holder, enjoying the delights of Thameslink and then FCC that I feel I've earned a helpful ticket deal now I'm part-time!

I keep meaning to work it out but I wonder sometimes if the carnet is better even than season tickets because the saving on season tickets could be wiped out by the fact that you probably don't use the trains while on annual leave anyway. I love being able to buy off-peak for my journey home and have arranged my working hours accordingly - which is what the train companies want to encourage - so it works for them.

catsrus Thu 10-Apr-14 06:51:41

I do like the carnet idea - but without a time limit on when they can be used (i only need to buy the full price ticket if I have a morning meeting or have to travel to the midlands) It suits me to work flexibly and go in late and stay late some days, I also work on the train in the morning. The full rush hour fare is a mind boggling £56 day, i can get that down to £15 if I'm working lunchtime - late.

ImAThrillseekerHoney Thu 10-Apr-14 07:01:26

The train companies are not fully competitive market entities - they hold their quasi-monopolistic licences by negotiation with the government. The current state of play is quite regressive in its effect so yes, I think either a part-timers' travel card or carnets would be a great step forward. I think they're pretty close to implementation in London aren't they? (Though of course the oyster already sort of has that effect)

EeyoreIsh Thu 10-Apr-14 07:15:20

A part time season ticket would be great. Before baby I travelled into London 4 days a week but had to pay the same as other commuters who used the train everyday.

When I return from maternity leave I'll be travelling in 3 days a week, it'll just about work out cheaper to get a season ticket than peak individual tickets, but I'll be paying so much more than I should.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 10-Apr-14 07:20:56

I would like Carnets or a prepay discount. Or even just to be able to prepay so I don't have to queue so much.

BranchingOut Thu 10-Apr-14 07:25:50

It seems like a good plan, but I am not sure how the pricing would work out.

I commute into London and if I go in two days per week, it is better for me to buy daily tickets - approx £20 per day. If I go in three days per week it is better for me to buy a £52.00 weekly.

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