Mayor Sadiq Khan’s flagship ‘Hopper’ fare will come into operation next Monday, allowing passengers to make an additional bus or tram journey at no extra cost within an hour of starting their journey.
The new fare, which will automatically apply to anyone who uses ‘pay as you go’ on Oyster or contactless payment cards, was a key manifesto pledge of the mayor’s and will see an estimated 30m bus journeys per year become free.
A one-hour bus ticket has long been championed by Liberal Democrats on the London Assembly and a number of Mr Khan’s rivals in this May’s mayoral election offered similar policies.
Announcing the new fare’s go-live date, Mr Khan said: “From my first week as Mayor, I was determined to get on with the job of cutting the cost of transport in London.
“I’m delighted to announce that from next Monday, the ‘Hopper’ ticket will allow Londoners to change buses for free within an hour, cutting travel costs for millions of bus users.
“Fares in London have risen for eight years in a row – and for people who have to change buses to get to work, the system simply isn’t fair.
“We must ensure that everyone can afford to travel around our city, and for people on low incomes, the cost of travel must never become a barrier to work or study.”
Transport Commissioner, Mike Brown, added: “I’m delighted we have been able to deliver this key commitment to London by the Mayor swiftly, enabling us to better meet the needs of those Londoners who live or work in areas which aren’t as well served by Tube or rail services.”
Transport for London and City Hall say development work to offer unlimited bus and tram transfers within one hour is underway, with TfL hoping the technical and coding changes necessary will be ready by 2018.