Transport news in brief: On Monday 5th September Thames Clippers are introducing a cut-price Cross River fare of £3.80. The fare applies to passengers travelling between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf or Barking Riverside and Woolwich.
Transport news in a bit more specific: The Cross River fare applies when using pay as you go or using the Thames Clippers app on the following crossings:
• Barking Riverside Pier ↔ Woolwich (Royal Arsenal) Pier
• Greenland (Surrey Quays) Pier ↔ Canary Wharf Pier
• Doubletree Docklands Pier ↔ Canary Wharf Pier
Transport news in context: The current fare for these cross-river journeys is £4.80 so you'll be saving £1.
Transport news in broader context: At present Thames Clipper Fares depend on which of three zones you pass through. Just the Central zone is £7.70, just the East or West zone is £4.80, two zones is £8.70 and three zones is £13.50.
Transport news in graphic form
Transport news in commentary: And about time too. It's long been a scandal that a short crossing from Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf costs almost five quid.
Transport news in minority interest: If you have a Travelcard these journeys already cost £3.50, so the new Cross River fare saves you nothing.
Transport news in time: These three cut-price crossings are timetabled to take three minutes (Rotherhithe → Canary Wharf) or nine minutes (Barking Riverside → Woolwich).
Transport news in ah but hang on: Four other short cross-river journeys are not having their fares cut (Greenland Dock → Masthouse Terrace, Masthouse Terrace → Greenwich, North Greenwich → Royal Wharf and Royal Wharf → Woolwich).
Transport news in reflective mood: This looks like a way to try to boost travel to and from Barking Riverside, the pier nobody yet lives within 10 minutes walk of. It'd be good if this encouraged more cross-river journeys between Greenwich and Barking & Dagenham, two boroughs previously entirely disconnected, but even with an Overground connection it's still not terribly convenient for onward journeys.
Transport news in value: Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf is currently £1.60 by tube, or £3.25 if you also catch a bus to the station, so the new £3.80 Cross River fare isn't competing on price, only time.
Transport news in cost benefit analysis: Even with the new Cross River fare, Thames Clippers remains the second most expensive way to cross the Thames in London downstream of Tower Bridge...
» by Dangleway: £5.00
» by Thames Clippers: £3.80
» by Crossrail: £1.70 (off-peak)
» by bus: £1.65 (by route 108)
» by tube, DLR or Overground: £1.60
» by car: £0.00 (Rotherhithe Tunnel, Blackwall Tunnel or Woolwich Ferry)
» on foot: £0.00 (Greenwich Foot Tunnel, Woolwich Foot Tunnel or Woolwich Ferry)
Transport news in summary: It still ain't cheap.
Transport news in social commentary: In these volatile economic times, perhaps give it a miss.