Finally, after the long wait, London Mayor Sadiq Khan announces the new London Bus hopper fare to launch on Monday 12th September 2016 as part of his election promise.
· New fare will save millions of bus and tram passengers money every year
· ‘Hopper’ provides two journeys for the price of one within an hour, making it cheaper and easier for people to travel around London
· An estimated 30m annual bus journeys will now become free.
· From 2018, Londoners will get unlimited bus journeys within an hour
Travelling on a bus in London will become cheaper and more convenient for millions of Londoners from next week as the one hour ‘Hopper’ fare will begin on Monday 12 September, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced.
The new fare will mean an estimated 30m bus journeys currently costing £1.50 will now become free every year.
From Monday it will allow passengers to change onto another bus or tram for free within one hour of touching in at the start of their journey. It will be automatically given to anyone who uses ‘pay as you go’ with Oyster or contactless payment cards.
The fare will particularly benefit Londoners on lower incomes who often rely on the bus network to get around. Using the ‘Hopper’ fare, passengers could make extended journeys across London for just £1.50 for a standard adult fare if the second journey begins within an hour. These include:
· London Bridge to East Croydon using the route 133 to Streatham and then changing at Streatham Hill station onto a 109 to West Croydon.
· Victoria Station to Wembley stadium using the Route 16 to Edgware Road station and then changing onto a route 18 to Wembley Central station.
· The fare will also be given to passengers switching from bus to tram, tram to bus or tram to tram within an hour as well.
TfL is now working on delivering unlimited bus and tram transfers within one hour, which is not currently possible due to limits with the existing technology. Plans are for TfL to deliver unlimited bus and tram journeys in an hour from 2018.
In addition to this, from 2018, passengers who travel on a Tube or train between their two or more bus or tram journeys will also be eligible for the Hopper fare.
The ‘Hopper’ fare will further encourage people across London to switch from their cars back to public transport – helping reduce congestion and harmful pollution.
London already has Europe's largest fleet of hybrid buses and both the Mayor and TfL are committed to further reducing vehicle emissions through new ‘Low Emission Bus Zones’ and procuring only hybrid or zero-emission double-decker buses from 2018.
Sadiq Khan -
“From my first week as Mayor, I was determined to get on with the job of cutting the cost of transport in London. I’m delighted to announce that from next Monday, the ‘Hopper’ ticket will allow Londoners to change buses for free within an hour, cutting travel costs for millions of bus users.
“Fares in London have risen for eight years in a row – and for people who have to change buses to get to work, the system simply isn’t fair. We must ensure that everyone can afford to travel around our city, and for people on low incomes, the cost of travel must never become a barrier to work or study.
“The new ‘Hopper’ ticket means 30 million bus journeys every year will now become free – journeys that currently cost people £1.50. Alongside our commitment to freeze all TfL fares, the start of the Hopper next Monday is a key part of our plans to make it more affordable to live and work in London.”
London’s Transport Commissioner, Mike Brown, said: “I’m delighted we have been able to deliver this key commitment to London by the Mayor swiftly, enabling us to better meet the needs of those Londoners who live or work in areas which aren’t as well served by Tube or rail services.”
From press release notes:
· The ‘Hopper’ fare will also apply to customers who pay discounted pay as you go fares (Bus & Tram Discount, Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount, Young Visitor discount and some Zip Oyster photocards).
· Customers who travel on a Tube or train between their two bus or tram journeys will not currently be eligible for the Hopper fare. But from 2018, passengers who travel on a Tube or train between their two or more bus or tram journeys will also be eligible for the ‘Hopper’ fare.
· The ‘Hopper’ fare will not be applied at the time of travel to journeys by Oyster customers exiting the Tram network at Wimbledon and subsequently catching a bus. Oyster customers who “miss out” in this way at Wimbledon will be sent automatic refunds.
· The introduction of the ‘Hopper’ fare comes ahead of the Mayor’s previously announced four-year fares freeze on all TfL services. The fares freeze, which comes into force in January 2017, will put money back into the pockets of Londoners. An average household will save around £200 over the four years.
· For example, regular users of the 7 Day Bus & Tram Pass will save around £400 over the four year term. In 2020, a bus journey will still cost £1.50 and a Tube journey from Finsbury Park to Oxford Circus will still cost £2.90 in the peak and £2.40 at all other times.
I would like to add that regarding the journeys mentioned in the press release, it will depend on the traffic; and due to London having gridlocked road conditions, if the passenger is stuck on the first bus for over an hour, they would have to pay for the journey on the next bus route.
I do believe this will reduce the number of buses in various areas such as Central London which is mostly gridlocked with buses.
This scheme will only apply to the red London Buses and the problem is they will not apply to any non-London bus routes; for example, passengers changing buses from London Buses Route 96 to a Fastrack route A at Dartford have to pay for a separate ticket to use the Fastrack service.
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By Matty - Flickr: Showbus 2012 - Arriva London, Wright Routemaster (LT7 ~ LT12 GHT), CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22009756