London’s bus and Tube passengers face years of fares increases under plans due to be agreed by the Transport for London board next week.
TfL’s current business plan called for an annual above inflation fares increase of at least 1% although additional government funding allowed Mayor Boris Johnson to limit next year’s increases to the rate to inflation.
However managers are now asking board members to sanction a return to the yearly above inflation increase from 2016 to financial year 2020/21.
If agreed this would mean Tube passengers paying an additional £900m – up from £2,413m to £3,371m – while bus passengers would see their fares burden grow from £1,558m in 2014/15 to £2,062m in 2020/21.
The overall fares yield, including TfL’s rail operations which will include Crossrail from 2018, will grow from £4,297m in the current year to £6,769m by 2020/21.
During the same time TfL’s other operating income, including money raised by the congestion charge, will increase from £680m to £846m.
TfL insists the increased fare revenue will be used to fund network improvements and upgrades, including a fleet of new Tube trains expected to cost up to £2.5bn and hundreds of the Mayor’s New Routemaster buses.
In recent months the Mayor and TfL have announced a series of expensive schemes which could limit the next Mayor’s ability to halt the fares increases when they take office in 2016.