Ridership on the London Underground continues to recover, with some busy central tube stations now seeing the same sort of passenger numbers as they had before the pandemic.

Comparing last Saturday (12th March) to its equivalent Saturday in 2019, TfL’s travel numbers saw a full recovery to pre-pandemic traveller numbers at a number of central London stations, including Barbican, North Greenwich, Tower Hill, Embankment and Waterloo.

There also continues to be steady growth outside of Zone 1 too, with stations such as Canada Water, Hanger Lane, Kew Gardens and Putney Bridge also seeing passenger numbers last Saturday broadly similar to those seen before the pandemic.

This is more evidence that the recovery is leisure-based, with weekday travel still running at around two-thirds of where it was, but weekend travel peaking at 85% of pre-pandemic numbers. This fits in with the numerous reports of a three-day week in the office, with large numbers of people commuting on Tues-Thur, and working from home on Mondays and Fridays, with more working from home on Mondays than on Fridays.

That’s still high enough numbers to be standing room only on the trains during rush hours for many people though.

Buses are also recovering, reaching 75%-80% of pre-pandemic numbers during the week, and hitting 87% at weekends.

Julie Dixon, Interim Customer and Revenue Director at Transport for London (TfL), said: “While this encouraging data demonstrates that customers are increasingly confident in using public transport and are keen to return to the city, there still remains a significant reduction in TfL’s fares revenues compared to before the pandemic. Public transport is the backbone of our economic recovery and therefore a long term financial deal is vital to ensure a strong TfL going forward.”


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One comment
  1. JP says:

    Another sign of a return to normality is the decreasing number of masked passengers.

    You can argue the toss both ways of course but I freely admit to being surprised that, anecdotally, only about a third of fellow travellers are wearing one.

    Yes it’s less dangerous but woah there it’s more contagious. I suppose for us to still be majority masked would be more akin to the japanese mentality regarding covering your face when travelling with a cold/the flu and that’s not something that we’ve bothered with here. Perhaps we should.

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