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Thousands of people using London's public transport network may find their electronic Oyster card no longer works after a fault hit the system.
The system was inoperable for at least five hours on Saturday. Some cards used during that time have since stopped working or incurred a fine.
The cards are used as payment on buses, Tube, tram and Docklands Light Railway.
Transport for London apologised and said people with a faulty card could get a replacement from Tube stations.
A spokesman said: "Customers whose cards are not working are advised to go to their nearest London Underground ticket office where they will be able to exchange their card for a replacement.
Our staff car park uses cards and you never get a full week without some failure on the system and delays as you contact the helpdesk.
are used millions of times a day, day in and day out - I use one myself if I travel on the London underground. Since they were introduced the improvement at the ticket barriers has been remarkable - they have transformed the way that hundreds of thousands of people can rapidly transit the barriers in the morning and evening rush hours.
As far as I cann recall there hasn't been a fault on this scale before, and I imagine everyone will soon overcome any minor problems that the glitch caused.
I've never used the oyster cards, but I remember working at a very high security place where they used the same cards for their access control, they'd set the system up as fail-secure, so when the server died all the doors stayed locked.
One day I was in a corridor when the server finally rolled over and died permanently, so I was locked in the corridor for about 3 hours with only a coffee machine for company.
When I was finally released, and after a lengthy trip to the gents, I was shown the hidden release button for the doors. It's not a very good access control system if you can just bypass the security with a little button above the suspended ceiling...
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