London’s system of fare zones could be replaced with a single pan-London fare under “radical” plans unveiled today by Green party mayoral candidate Sian Berry.
Fare zones were first introduced in October 1981 by the Greater London Council and Transport for London says the system makes paying for travel “as fair as possible” because “those travelling shorter distances pay less than those making longer trips.”
However Ms Berry says “it’s not fair that people in outer London pay so much more to get to work,” and has pledged to merge some zones before harmonising fares across the capital by 2025 through a series of phased freezes and cuts.
Berry is also planning a new “ONE Ticket” which would allow passengers to switch between different trains and buses to complete their journey while only paying a single fare.
London’s Greens say the pledges are affordable despite potentially costing TfL £300m per year in lost revenue at the same time as the agency will need to absorb the loss of £700m of government grants.
The party claims some of the losses would be “softened” by expected increases in passenger numbers “as more complex journeys that are currently too expensive would become affordable.”
Berry said her policy would “level the playing field to make everyone’s journey to work cost the same, removing the hidden penalties if you live in outer London, work part time, need to take two buses, or change between tube, bus and train on your way.”
The Green mayoral hopeful has also pledged to integrate the capital’s bike hire scheme with TfL’s Oyster and contactless payment system however work is already underway to implement this from July 2017.
Under plans discussed by the TfL board last month the current contract will be split into two with the running of the scheme’s payment systems and call centres split from the supply and maintenance of bikes.
Isabel Dedring, the capital’s deputy mayor for transport, has previously suggested that integrating the bike hire scheme with Oyster would boost usage by around a quarter.