The night tube launched on 19th August 2016, three years after it was announced by Boris Johnson, and the expected boost to the London economy is now thought to be higher than originally expected.
Over a decade, London’s economy is expected to show a Night Tube boost of £1.54 billion, double the initial projections made before the service launched in August 2016.
Passenger numbers have also been higher than expected with almost 17 million journeys so far, well above the 14 million forecast
According to a new report by London First and EY the Night Tube helped to generate an additional £190m for London’s economy last year, a contribution that has increased by almost £20m from its first year of operation.
It’s worth putting that into context, as the nighttime economy generates around £26 billion per year — so the Night Tube’s impact over a decade is about 0.6% boost to the night time economy. Not to be sniffed at, but sufficiently close to a rounding error as to not be worth getting too excited about either.
The report — of which just one slide has been released — also notes that an additional 3,909 jobs are supported by the night tube, including 589 who are directly employed by TfL to operate the night tube service.
Based on a report from 2017, TfL itself earned an additional £10 million in gross revenue in the initial year of the service, and it’s unlikely that figure would be much higher for the second year. With 500 additional staff and the costs of running the trains, the Night Tube is running at a deficit.
In future TfL will consider how best to introduce a similar service on the DLR when the next operating contract is let in 2021, while the upgrade of the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines will facilitate a night service once the programme is fully complete in 2023.