It's now looking extremely likely that TfL will stop selling and accepting Day Travelcards from January 2024, after Sadiq Khan signed a Mayoral Decision document to that effect.
It was announced in April this year that TfL was considering scrapping Day Travelcards in a bid to save money, at a time when the transport operator's finances are known to be precarious. A public consultation ran until May, and following that, a Mayoral Decision was taken in July.
The order tells TfL that it must terminate the Travelcard Agreement — which allows it to sell Day Travelcards, and accept those sold by other operators such as train operating companies — within six months, by no later than 21 January 2024. Weekly and longer-term Travelcards, and daily pay-as-you-go caps on Oyster and contactless cards won't be affected.
TfL found that:
Customers in London switching from Day Travelcards to pay as you go would save money or pay the same, whereas customers travelling from outside of London may find travel becomes more expensive if the Day Travelcards are withdrawn.
So Londoners shouldn't be affected by the decision, but visitors coming from outside London will, because the Day Travelcard effectively offers them a day's worth of travel around London at a cheaper rate, all of which is subsidised by TfL. It estimates that scrapping Day Travelcards will generate approximately £40m of additional revenue for TfL each year.
However, if TfL can come up with "an acceptable alternative option" — meaning cash from elsewhere to subsidise Day Travelcards — then the Mayoral Decision will be withdrawn and Day Travelcards will continue. But looking at how much it costs to sponsor the tube map, TfL would need an extremely generous benefactor to make up that £40m
For many customers outside of London, it's not just the financial benefits that lead to them buying a Day Travelcard. For those who don't travel into London on a regular basis and aren't familiar with its transport system, the Day Travelcard is a simple ticketing option. Now, with plans to remove ticket office staff from regional train stations, and Travelcards being removed, it'll be harder than ever for such passengers to find advice about which ticket is right for them.