diamond geezer

 Thursday, October 21, 2010

Yesterday was a good day to bury bad news. So Boris slipped out the annual announcement on tube/bus fare rises while nobody was paying attention. Here are some of the highlights (or lowlights, depending).

Cost of a single central London tube journey
200120022003 20042005200620072008200920102011

The Zone 1 Oyster tube fare rises 5½% in January, to a new high of £1.90. Pessimists will note that this is 27% higher than when Boris came to power. Optimists, however, should note that it's still only 27% higher than a decade ago.

Cost of a single central London bus journey
200120022003 20042005200620072008200920102011

The pay-as-you-go bus fare rises 8% in January. That's a whopping 44% rise since Boris came to power, which is awful... but only a 30% rise over the last decade, which maybe isn't so bad.

On average, across tubes and buses, we're told that prices will be rising next year by 7% (which is the rate of inflation + 2%). But this average hides a multitude of larger rises, for example...

Cost of a tube journey from Green Park to Heathrow
 20102011% increase
Peak (Oyster)£4.20£4.50+7%
Off-peak (Oyster)£2.40£2.70+12½%
Visitor (cash)£4.50£5.00+11%

And then there's a subtly hidden yet very evil thing concerning One Day Travelcards. It's this.
"The One Day Travelcard range will be simplified and slow selling tickets withdrawn. The new range will comprise all-day and off-peak tickets valid in Zones 1-2, 1-4 and 1-6."
Come January there'll be just three different One Day Travelcards within London, whereas currently there are six. This is bad news if you currently use one of the One Day Travelcards being scrapped, most notably the Zone 2-6. TfL haven't yet released prices for the newly restricted range. Update: yes they have, grudgingly. So let me demonstrate what will happen in January once the range is cut back.

Cost of One Day Travelcard - any time   (updated)
cost now£7.20£8.60£10.00£12.60£14.80£9.00
to be retained?×××
cost in 2011£8.00£10.00£10.00£15.00£15.00£15.00

Cost of One Day Travelcard - off peak   (updated)
cost now£5.60£6.30£7.50£5.10
to be retained?×
cost in 2011£6.60£7.30£8.00£8.00

Consider, for example, the poor Outer London Travelcard user. At the moment they save cash by not travelling into Central London, but when the Zone 2-6 One Day Travelcard is withdrawn they'll be charged the same as if they had. That's a massive 57% fare increase off-peak, and an astonishing 67% increase for the all-day user. How on earth can this be justified?

You may be thinking so what, I never buy a One Day Travelcard anyway. But maybe you do, indirectly at least, through daily price-capping. Pay-as-you-go price caps are always set to match the relevant Travelcard, so if a paper Travelcard disappears then so will the matching electronic price cap.
» For example, if you use your Oyster to swan around in Zones 1-5 all day, you currently never pay more than £12.60. Once the Z1-5 Travelcard vanishes you'll have to pay up to £15.00 instead, which is the Z1-6 cap. Over a week, a month, a year, that'll really add up.
» Or consider an Oyster user who makes four off-peak Zone 2-3 tube journeys in a day, each costing £1.80. At the moment the price cap kicks in at £5.10, which means the fourth journey is free. Once the Z2-6 Travelcard vanishes the price cap leaps to £8.00, which means the the fourth journey costs full price. Ouch.

Fare rises are clearly essential if London's going to continue to have a vaguely world-class transport network. Somebody has to pay to keep our trains and buses moving. But there's a nasty undercurrent to these latest price hikes, disguised beneath a veil of simplification and rationalisation, and it seems that some travellers are being asked to pay far more than their fare share.

<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>

click to return to the main page

...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan20  Feb20  Mar20  Apr20  May20
Jan19  Feb19  Mar19  Apr19  May19  Jun19  Jul19  Aug19  Sep19  Oct19  Nov19  Dec19
Jan18  Feb18  Mar18  Apr18  May18  Jun18  Jul18  Aug18  Sep18  Oct18  Nov18  Dec18
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17  Dec17
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