The overall cost of London’s public transport costs will rise by 2.6% on 1st March, but that overall number hides big discrepancies in how the fares rise is being implemented.
Fares were already predicted to need to rise by above the rate of inflation in 2021 anyway, but the rise was then mandated as part of the TfL bailout in October 2020. The deal set the fares rise at whatever inflation was in July 2020, plus one percent — so that gives an overall rise of 2.6%.
A summary of the fares changes sees bus and tram single fares increase by 5p to £1.55 and the daily bus and tram cap is raised to £4.65. The Bus & Tram Pass season price is increased to £21.90 for a 7 Day ticket. The Hopper fare, which was introduced in September 2016, will remain in place, permitting multiple free bus and tram transfers within an hour.
On the London Underground in Zones 1-6 and other rail services in London where tube fares apply pay-as-you-go (PAYG) fares will typically increase by 10p or 20p. A number of fares, including PAYG fares for children, remain unchanged.
Travelcard prices and the associated PAYG caps will increase from 1 March by 2.6%, as they are linked to National Rail fares. As a result, Travelcard season ticket prices and the associated all day PAYG Travelcard caps increase by 2.6 per cent overall.
Concessions and discounts for eligible groups remain unchanged.
The changes in fares have been skewed so that single fares for people travelling within a single zone by tube, train and DLR are largely unchanged, with fare rises for single journeys rising sharply for multi-zone journeys.
A single adult journey in Zone 1 during the rush hour will still cost £2.40, whereas a trip in Zones 1-3 rises from £3.30 to £3.40, a 3% rise. Overall, across all adult single fares, there’s an increase of 3.5%. Likewise, travelling in a single zone off-peak see no fares increase, but the overall increase across all the fares is much higher, at 7.7%.
It could be suggested that raising fares only on the multi-zone journeys fits with the “stay local” mantra of current times, but as the fares are frozen for the outer zones as well, it’s theoretically possible to travel from one side of London to the other, avoiding Zone 1, for the same price as you would have paid in 2020.
Children’s fares on tube, train and DLR are being frozen this year – no changes at all.
However, the daily caps on pay-as-you-go fares which sets the maximum you can be charged in a single day will rise for outer London zones if you’re an adult, by 2.3%, and across all zones for children, by 3.3%.
If you’re one of the under 1% of people still paying cash for tube tickets – then expect a huge price hike, of around 9.5% as TfL continues to discourage that form of payment.
Bus and tram fares will rise, although the increases are kept to the smallest increments possible. 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 same price as three single journeys.
Hire fees for the Santander Cycle scheme are set to remain the same – with 24 hours access for unlimited journeys of up to 30 minutes available for £2.
In normal years, the fares rise would see TfL’s income increase by £123 million, but due to the current situation, they’d expect to earn much less, at £74 million, but the delayed implementation to 1st March reduces that to £60 million.
The extra revenue is expected to be made up of £34m for LU; £31m for bus; and £9m for the DLR, trams, London Overground and TfL Rail.
The biggest fare hike though – that’s over on the Dangleway where adults are seeing an average hike in fares of 10.5%, and 11% rise for children.
That’s expected to increase ticket sales revenues by £400,000 to help plug TfL’s financial black-hole.