Discounted off-peak travel to aid the recovery of central London

Questions to the Mayor of London – answered on 7th June 2021.

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Photo of Siân Berry Siân Berry Green

Will you bring forward proposals for cheaper off-peak travel on Transport for London (TfL) services, particularly for journeys from outer London into central London, in order to aid the recovery of central London?

Photo of Sadiq Khan Sadiq Khan Mayor of London

For London to remain a leading world city it is essential that central London makes a strong recovery from the pandemic. Affordable public transport will be a key part of this. To encourage visitors to travel to all corners of central London and experience the range of fantastic attractions on offer, I froze fares for travel within Zone 1 as part of the March 2021 fares revision.

However, the right balance must be struck between encouraging travel through great value fares and ensuring social distancing is possible on public transport for as long as it is necessary. At the same time, it is important to recognise that Transport for London is highly dependent on fares income, meaning that its finances have been severely impacted by the pandemic.

Off-peak fares already offer great value for travel during quieter periods. On weekdays, off-peak pay as you go fares apply before 6:30 a.m., between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. and after 7 p.m. Pay as you go fares to Zone 1 in the evening rush hour (4 p.m. to 7 p.m.) are already charged at the off-peak rate. At weekends and public holidays, all pay as you go fares are charged at the off-peak rate.

As I set out in my manifesto, to make the best use of the network, I have asked TfL to explore the use of more dynamic fare pricing. As part of this, TfL will look at new pricing mechanisms to encourage customers to explore different ways of travelling – including fares that reflect changing demand levels at different times, or different places across the network.