City Hall and Transport for London have published full details of the upcoming fares increase.
Coming into effect from March 1st, the increases are a condition of the government’s agreement to provide TfL with financial assistance after the pandemic caused passenger numbers and fares income to plummet.
While the health crisis has decimated the agency’s finances, it was already facing problems thanks in part to the delayed completion of Crossrail which caused cost overruns and lost much-needed advertising and other commercial income.
As a consequence, in January 2020 the London Assembly expressed concerns about the agency’s ability to deliver on the mayor’s transport ambitions.
The agreement with ministers requires the Mayor to impose an overall increase of 2.6 per cent – consisting of the RPI rate plus one per cent.
While most fares will rise, single pay as you go Tube, DLR, London Overground and TfL rail fares will be frozen but the cost of a single bus and tram fare will increase by 5p to £1.55 and the daily cap will increase by 15p to £4.65. The Bus & Tram Pass season price will increase to £21.90 for a 7 Day ticket.
TfL has also published a ‘Financial Sustainability Plan’ which sets out how the agency can achieve financial sustainability by 2023/24.
Proposals include cutting bus services to reduce operating costs, introducing a £5.50 daily charge to enter London and moving Canada Water from fares zone 2 to the more expensive zone 1.
Off-peak Tube services could also be reduced while staffing costs could be reviewed. The document also suggests introducing annual fares increases.
Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “Londoners know that I have done everything possible to make public transport more affordable since I became Mayor – including introducing the unlimited Hopper bus fare and freezing all TfL fares since taking office – saving the average London household over £200.
“Unfortunately this year Ministers insisted on a RPI+1 per cent fares increase in order for TfL to get the emergency Government support needed as a consequence of the global pandemic.
“Public transport should be affordable to all, so I am pleased that I was able to fight off even worse Government proposals to scrap free travel for under 18’s and concessions for over 60’s as well as bigger fares increase.”
Shashi Verma, Director of Strategy at TfL, added: “This fares package aims to help support the wider economic recovery of the city throughout 2021.
“Through daily and weekly capping, as well as the Hopper fare, passengers can continue to get the best value fare by using pay as you go with contactless and Oyster.”