Around 5,800 contractors working on behalf of Transport for London (TfL) will receive free travel on TfL services from this April.

The main beneficiaries will be cleaners working for contractors on behalf of TfL.

Although originally announced last September, it’s taken until now to sort out the details, and the Mayor of London has confirmed that the cost will be covered by the GLA, with the scheme coming into effect in April 2023.

Directly contracted cleaners were included in the previous announcement, which covered some 5,000 people, but the latest update adds 800 more cleaners, covering the London Overground, Elizabeth line, and the DLR.

Free travel on TfL services is already given to employees employed directly by TfL, and Oyster cards are also issued to bus drivers and operators of other TfL services as part of their benefits package, and this will now apply as well to contractors.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London’s transport workers continue to play an essential and much-valued role in keeping our city’s transport network safe and operational for millions of people every day.”

The RMT union while welcoming the news is still calling for contractors to be replaced with TfL directly employing the cleaners instead.


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  1. BR says:

    Why free travel? Why not subsidised. Most companies offer discount to staff…NOT FREE. I understand the partners of employees also get free travel? And fares keep hoping up to pay for them. This is totally wrong.

    • Chris Rogers says:

      Yes. Free travel for you through zones 1-6 if you work for TfL, free or discounted rail travel anywhere in the country too, and the same for your spouse/partner (look up TfL nominee passes online). There are various combos of that given how long some staff have been employed etc and obviously it’s only a cost to TfL if it’s used, but no doubt one could construct an FOI request to attempt to get that info.

    • Jon says:

      Free because the services would be running regardless so the practical cost to TFL is zero. Also free because the pass allows staff to be more effective at their jobs (previously cleaning staff had to to waste time waiting to be let through barriers to clean platforms). Also no, the cleaning, security and catering staff will not be getting the additional pass for their partner.

    • Matt says:

      When you’ll work as a cleaner at night time for buses, in an open yard (no cover, so deal with all kind of weather conditions) and get stupid money (11.05 ph), you’ll understand why… Is more than deserved with all the stuff those people have to deal with, plus many other people in similar conditions

  2. Paul Miller says:

    That’s not fair, I’ve had my morning free travel taken away (I’m supposed to be retired) but contractors and TFL’s staff relatives go free.
    As I said, not fair.

    • Jen says:

      If you’re retired, do you qualify for a Freedom Pass yet?

    • Brian says:

      Yes I agree, personally as a pensioner I only need to travel before 9:00am is for hospital appointments.
      Shame on the Mayor 😡

    • ReasonableCunt says:

      You think it’s unfair that people who work for the company are getting something everyone else doesn’t? I don’t get free coffee at Costas but staff do, is that unfair? Should you get free McDonalds too because you’re retired??

  3. Leon Malins says:

    TfL takes with one hand and gives with the other. It is good that the cleaners will now get free travel but why was early morning free travel stolen from pensioners. This ‘temporary’ measure was introduced during Covid to understandably help reduce congestion during the morning ‘rush hour’ but has now been made ‘permanent’. I rarely use the buses and tubes before 9am anyway but it would be good to have the facility available in order to attend early morning hospital and similar appointments without worrying about having to pay for the travel costs. I was also a regular visitor to the London Assembly at City Hall whose morning meetings will now cost me money from my pension to travel to. Thank you City Hall for effectively banning me from your own meetings.

  4. Gaurav Sharma says:

    Can you please tell me how I get one month previous history for oyster contractor pass

  5. Anura says:

    Today i went to london bridge to Lewisham on using this travel pass but railway station gate wasnt open checkout gate. Why is that?

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