TfL services will be off-peak all day on a Friday — for a three-month trial period starting in March.
Ridership on the tube and TfL trains has never fully recovered since the pandemic; mid-week it's at 85% of pre-Covid levels, and on Fridays, just 73%. In a bid to boost these flagging Fridays, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has asked TfL to run a three-month-long trial which will make Fridays off-peak all day on tube and TfL trains.
As an example of the kind of saving that could be made: commuting in from Zone 6 into Zone 1, you'd currently pay £5.60 to travel in on the tube. Under the trial, you'd fork out just £3.60 — a saving of £2.
Tell that to the businesses who have had to shut their doors already. On your watch, London’s nightlife alone has suffered big time. Your ‘night czar’ is on a whopping £116,925 and for what? No more gimmicks, London needs change https://t.co/puFdmrO6u8— Susan Hall AM (@Councillorsuzie) January 28, 2024
It's about more than just getting Londoners back on public transport though; with fewer people travelling in, London's hospitality industry has been hit hard — with one pub, bar, restaurant and nightclub closing every other day. Fridays, of course, are when those businesses typically made a lot of their money.
The Tory candidate for Mayor of London, Susan Hall, has labelled Khan's idea as a 'gimmick', although to be fair until the other day she didn't know what a London bus fare cost.
Recently, Khan and TfL revealed they'd be freezing 'all' tube fares — the word 'all' doing a lot of heavy lifting, as those making multiple journeys, using travelcards, or riding on national rail services will still see their fares go up.
Currently, peak fares apply from 6.30am-9.30am and again between 4pm and 7pm.