diamond geezer

 Friday, January 10, 2014

In just over a week's time TfL's delayed annual fare rise will take effect across the capital. Amongst all the changes and increases there's one less trumpeted change that will affect visitors to East London's favourite cablecar. Here's what the fares look like now.



A single Dangleway journey costs about the same as a single Z1-3 trip on the tube, be that paid by cash or using Oyster. The return fare is precisely double the single fare, with no extra saving for travelling twice. If you're ever planning to make 10 separate journeys then the Multi-journey Boarding Pass is an absolute bargain, working out at just £1.60 a trip. And then there's Private Cabin Hire, the worst value fare anywhere in London, whereby a group can guarantee a cabin to themselves if they pay a premium for the privilege. This might have made marketing sense when the Dangleway was launched, with high hopes of high usage, but looks increasingly ludicrous today as pods go sailing empty across the Thames.

Here's what the adult fares will look like from Sunday 19th January.
Single journey: £4.40 (or £3.30 with Oyster) (up 10p)
Return journey: £8.80 (or £6.60 with Oyster) (up 10p)
Multi-journey Boarding Pass: £16.00 (for 10 journeys)
Full Experience: £10.00 (or £7.80 with Oyster)
Ordinary fares increase by 10p, a mere 3% rise per trip. The Multi-journey Boarding Pass remains the same price, making it even more of a bargain at less than half of the Oyster fare. And the Private Cabin Hire option appears to have disappeared. There's no mention of it on the Fares 2014 webpage, which is otherwise pretty much a cut and paste of Fares 2013. It looks like someone's done a reality check and removed what looked like a grossly inappropriate luxury from the menu. Hopefully no more tourists will be unnecessarily milked for cash in future.

But hang on, what's this Full Experience? It's not been publicised anywhere yet, but it's there for all to see on TfL's New Fares update.
A new Full Experience package will be introduced including a return trip, souvenir guide and free entrance to the Emirates Aviation Experience. The cost will be £10 for adults (£7.80 for Travelcard, Oyster card, Oyster photocard and Freedom Pass holders) and £6 for children (£4.80 for Travelcard, 5-10 and 11-15 Oyster photocard holders).
What we have here is a new fare aimed fair and square at tourists. The Full Experience package is basically a return trip with frills, and those extras come tagged on at minimal extra cost. For your £10 you get a return trip (normally £8.80), a Souvenir Guide (normally £1) and a whizz round the Emirates Aviation Experience (normally £3). That's a saving of £2.80 over what you'd have paid for all three. Or, more cleverly, it's £5.60 more than you would have paid if you'd merely turned up to ride the cablecar once.

They sell these souvenir "in-flight" guides already. A poster in the ticket office window suggests you "take the view with you", and your pound gets you a slidy bit of card much more flash that the free viewing leaflet I was given on the first day service began.

And of course the Emirates Aviation Experience is open already, has been since last summer, not that you'd guess if you turned up today. The entrance looks like a pair of fire doors in the back of a warehouse, while the ticket kiosk outside is so poorly branded that it completely fails to announce its presence to passers by. Not that the inside is very much more exciting, more a single room containing screens and more screens promoting the sponsor's airline. Currently visitors to the EAE pay £3 for the privilege of being advertised to. With the new Full Experience that additional fee drops to 20p... plus the chance to spend lots more in the cafe and the gift shop at the far end.

The new Full Experience package is probably TfL's greatest admission yet that the cablecar is essentially a tourist attraction. Your £10 fare meets no transport need, depositing you back on the same side of the Thames from which you began. Instead it's a chance for the operator to recoup a bit more money by funnelling extra souls via pods and a ground level attraction that are mostly empty anyway. Plus all these return trips will of course count as double when the ridership figures are totted up every week.

Just 10000 passengers rode the cablecar in the week before Christmas, by far the lowest total yet recorded on this aerial white elephant. Perhaps the Full Experience package will lure folk in again. Or perhaps the future lies in encouraging Helmut from Munich and Chen Li from Beijing to make as many crossings as possible, because it's not clear that anyone who lives nearby is being taken for a ride.


<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>


click to return to the main page


...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

my flickr photostream