London mayor Sadiq Khan today confirmed that his bus Hopper fare will go unlimited this month, so users can make as many bus and tram journeys as they like within an hour.
At present, the Hopper fare allows passengers to take a £1.50 bus or tram journey and then change onto another bus or tram for free within one hour of touching in at the start of their journey. The change means passengers will be able to make unlimited bus and tram journeys, even if travelling on Tube or rail services in between.
The Hopper fare was rolled out by Khan in an effort to tackle slumping bus journeys in the capital, and to make bus travel more affordable. Since September 2016, over 140m journeys have used the fare.
While announcing the Hopper upgrade, Khan criticised the rise in train fares which come into effect this month, with commuters across the UK seeing the cost of fares rising by an average of 3.4 per cent. In November, Khan reaffirmed his pledge to continuing the TfL fare freeze until 2020, with pay as you go journeys on the Tube, DLR, Emirates Air Line and rail services affected. The mayor said:
It is simply not right that millions of rail passengers face eye-watering fare hikes today after suffering 12 months of delays, cancellations and disruption.
It’s time for the government and private rail companies to step up and give the passengers the service they deserve at a price they deserve. We’ve shown them it can be done – my TfL fares freeze is helping millions of Londoners every single day while we maintain a much better service, and I’m delighted that they’ll save even more when the popular Hopper fare goes unlimited from the end of the month.
Liberal Democrat London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon said:
Sadiq Khan’s overall commitment to freezing fares for four years faces many challenges due to a triple whammy of rising inflation, falling passenger numbers and the government ending its grant to TfL.
However, where Sadiq Khan is absolutely right is finally delivering a one-hour bus ticket. This will make bus travel more attractive which is desperately needed in getting more people to use London buses. It will also help people who have no choice but to switch buses as part of their journey.
Once the updated Hopper fare is up and running, TfL will then focus on delivering significant software changes to bring weekly capping to the Oyster card this year - bringing it in line with contactless ticketing.