Transport for London has secured additional funding from central government worth up to £1.8bn, allowing it to keep services running for the next 6 months.
The agency’s finances have been hit hard by plummeting journey numbers in the wake of the Covid pandemic.
Ministers provided a £1.6bn emergency package earlier this year, but with passenger numbers and fare revenue still below normal levels further help was needed to keep buses and Tubes running.
The latest funding includes a £905m grant and a £95m loan from the Public Works Loan Board. A longer term solution has yet to be agreed and is now likely to be discussed in the build-up to next year’s delayed mayoral election.
As a condition of the money, the temporary changes to the Congestion Charge introduced as part of the original funding package will continue, as will the temporary removal of free travel in the morning peak for 60+ and older persons freedom pass holders.
However a reported expansion of the congestion charge zone and additional fare rises above the RPI+1% formula already agreed have not been imposed.
Transport Commissioner Andy Byford said: “Reaching this agreement with the government allows us to help London through this next phase of the pandemic.
“We will continue to work with the Mayor and the government on our longer-term funding needs.
“As always, our staff are working tirelessly to serve London’s people and businesses; supporting the city’s economy and providing an excellent, safe and reliable service to our customers every day.”
Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “These negotiations with Government have been an appalling and totally unnecessary distraction at a time when every ounce of attention should have been focused on trying to slow the spread of Covid-19 and protecting jobs.
“The pandemic has had the same impact on the finances of the privatised rail companies as it has had on TfL and the Government immediately bailed them out for 18 months with no strings attached.
“There is simply no reason why the same easy solution could not have been applied to London, which would have allowed us all to focus on the issues that matter most to Londoners, which are tackling the virus and protecting jobs.
“I am pleased that we have succeeded in killing off the very worst Government proposals.”