London Transport Fares 2000-2014

With the Mayoral election coming up, fares will be a burning hot topic. But there’s so much politicking surrounding the issue it’s almost impossible to separate the fact from the posturing. So we decided to put together some actual data that we can refer to the next time a candidate says “when you look at the fares increase in real terms / compared with inflation / I had my fingers crossed and it didn’t count”.

Not as easy as it sounds: until 2003, new fare proposals were published in TfL Board Papers. After that, as far as we can tell, the data disappear, with only select information in press releases, before returning in 2009 on the Mayor’s website – but only accessible by wading through search results. Thankfully, TfL were able to provide us with a full history for certain fare types.

Direct comparisons aren’t always easy – we had the introduction of Oyster and removal of bus zones in 2004, and withdrawal of day travelcards for zones 1-3, 1-5 and 2-6 in 2011, for example – and so many permutations. But we’ve decided to look at travel between zones 1 and 4.

Tube single journey zones 1-4: cash

2000: £2.60
2001: £2.70
2002: £2.70
2003: £2.80
2004: £3.00
2005: £2.80
2006: £3.00
2007: £4.00
2008: £4.00
2009: £4.00
2010: £4.00
2011: £5.00
2012 (original): £5.40
2012 (revised): £5.30
2013: £5.50
2014: £5.70

Tube single journey zones 1-4: Oyster PAYG (peak)

2004: £2.80
2005: £2.50
2006: £2.50
2007: £2.50
2008: £2.50
2009: £2.80
2010: £3.10
2011: £3.40
2012 (original): £3.60
2012 (revised): £3.60
2013: £3.80
2014: £3.80

Bus single fare including zone 1: cash

2000: £1
2001: £1
2002: £1
2003: £1
2004: £1
2005: £1.20
2006: £1.50
2007: £2
2008: £2
2009: £2
2010: £2
2011: £2.20
2012 (original): £2.30
2012 (revised): £2.30
2013: £2.40
2014: £2.40

Bus single fare: Oyster PAYG (peak)

2004: 70p
2005: £1
2006: £1
2007: £1
2008: 90p
2009: £1
2010: £1.20
2011: £1.30
2012 (original): £1.40
2012 (revised): £1.35
2013: £1.40
2014: £1.45

One day cap bus and tram Oyster PAYG

2005: £3
2006: £3
2007: £3
2008: £3
2009: £3.30
2010: £3.90
2011: £4
2012 (original): £4.20
2012 (revised): £4.20
2013: £4.40
2014: £4.40

One day travelcard / Oyster PAYG cap zones 1-4 (all day)

2002: £6.80
2003: £7
2004: £7.30
2005: £8
2006: £8.40
2007: £9
2008: £9.40
2009: £10
2010: £10
2011: £10
2012 (original): £10.80
2012 (revised): £10.60
2013: £11 travelcard / £10.60 PAYG cap
2014: £11.40 travelcard / £10.60 PAYG cap

Seven day travelcard zones 1-4

2000: £26.80
2001: £27.60
2002: £28.10
2003: £28.40
2004: £29.20
2005: £30.40
2006: £31.60
2007: £33.20
2008: £34.60
2009: £36.80
2010: £36.80
2011: £39.40
2012 (original): £42.60
2012 (revised): £ 41.80
2013: £43.60
2014 (original): £45.40
2014 (revised): £45

Seven day bus and tram pass

2000: £11.50
2001: £9.50
2002: £8.50
2003: £8.50
2004: £9.50
2005: £11
2006: £13.50
2007: £14
2008: £13
2009: £13.80
2010: £16.60
2011: £17.80
2012 (original): £19.10
2012 (revised): £18.80
2013: £19.60
2014 (original): £20.40
2014 (revised): £20.20

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Article by Rachel Holdsworth | 2,232 Articles | View Profile | Twitter

  • Paul

    Prices usually double every 7 years, so some things are actually cheaper than they could be

    • SimonB

      Sorry to be a nerd, but RPI between 2000 and 2010 averaged only 2.7% per year/ 31% increase over 10 years (taken from the Bank of England- no data to 2012). All of these fare increases are well above RPI.

    • http://harry.wood.myopenid.com/ Harry Wood

      There’s a graph here plotting fare increases against weekly earnings increases http://snipelondon.com/metropolis/those-tfl-fare-rises-in-handy-chart-form  Some things are cheaper than they could be… but transport isn’t one of them :-)    For me the big question is, do the prices reflect the increasing value that everyone places on transport, alongside things like increasing value of having a nice house in a good location (possibly to avoid transport!) Certainly good transport is important and valuable. Perhaps prices are shifting to better reflect that  …or are transport monopolies managing to hike prices unreasonably? It seems like we don’t have a very competitive transport market, so why wouldn’t they?

  • Ainenib

    These in graph form would be great!

    • Anonymous

      Hehe – challenge extended! Anyone?

  • Badenmorgan

    should compare them with similar journeys in paris and nyc over the same period

  • a729

    TfL fares are increasing partly due to free travel for under 18s regradless of their parents wealth. It would be wiser to have a small fee of say 30p a day or so that would help lower fares for the poorest workers in London

    • HHGeek

      I disagree. If kids become habitual users of public transport because it’s free, then that’s a worthy long term investment. Now the Freedom Pass for the older, there you might have a point …

  • Kim Lee

    Hello, this article is really interesting at how much London transport costs has increased in the last 13 years. I still remember paying a 40p CASH fare on the bus, and saving 5p by buying those saver tickets ! Also interesting how Oyster has only been with us for 9 years yet has had such an impact. We’re now talking about going cashless on buses!

    I’m conducting a research project as part of my final year dissertation on people’s perceptions of using London transport. I’d really appreciate if you can offer your views and experiences by completing my questionnaire at http://surveys.qmul.ac.uk/transport – it takes 10 minutes to complete.

    Thanks,

    Kim Lee
    Student @ Queen Mary, University of London
    k.lee(at)hss11.qmul.ac.uk

  • londona729

    Despite my love of TfL , I have started to wonder if like Parliament and many politicians TfL seems to be becoming (more and more) self-serving. Is it just me?

  • King Koenig

    Great article, but cash single fares are still £4.50 and not £5.50 (thank god)

    • http://londonist.com/ Rachel Holdsworth

      Sorry, but according to here: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tickets/14416.aspx cash fare zone 1-4 is £5.50. Zones 3 and under is £4.50, but for travelcard comparison reasons we’ve gone with 1-4 for all fares.