Caroline Pidgeon: “Halve Tube fares before 7.30am”


Caroline Pidgeon, London Assembly member and our candidate for London Mayor, has come up with a  bright idea that has a range of benefits. She proposes that fares on all Transport for London rail services (including Underground, DLR, and Overground) should be halved for journeys before 7.30am.

As she says:

Half price fares on TfL’s Tube and rail services would really help some of London’s lowest paid workers who often have to work unsocial hours.  This is a genuine fare cut that can be delivered immediately.

Such a policy would also encourage people to spread travel over a longer period and thus help to reduce overcrowding at peak times.

Supporting those Londoners who get up early and make our city work is really important, providing real help with the cost of living in the capital.  This is a win win policy for Londoners.

Caroline proposes to meet the cost, which based on TfL’s own figures would be around £30 million per year, by withdrawing the subsidy for the Garden Bridge project.

She hasn’t forgotten the Lib Dem policy for a one hour bus ticket, as issued in many other large cities across the world. The fixed price ticket could be used on as many buses as needed within a one hour timeslot.


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  • Starting before 7:30 or ending before 7:30? Applicable to journeys that were timetabled to start/end before 7:30 but didn’t due to service failure? How does this work with a Travelcard as opposed to an Oyster PAYG. Etc.

  • @David – Good points. Also, if the purpose of this is to aid London’s low paid workers, the question arises as to how this reduction will be applied; as surely if you are a regular TFL passenger, you will already be using an Oyster card where single fares are typically half the price of the equivalent cash fare. And what about evenings? surely these workers need to get home again?

  • I can’t see 7:30 being early enough, perhaps 7:00. Also halving would be too expensive, if it was made off peak that would be reasonable. You have to factor that people will changfe behaviour which will result in higher costs.

  • Lynne Featherstone 6th Jan '16 - 5:14pm

    This is a great policy – am sure Caroline can provide details in due course – but it both reduces the disgusting crush that many of us experience in the morning rush hour as well as offering money back to anyone willing to travel early. Great work Caroline!

  • Ruth Bright 7th Jan '16 - 9:15am

    Caroline clearly gave the details on the Today programme this morning. The quality of her interview shows the value of a local government background for our candidates. So often we equip our candidates, at best, with a bit of superficial media training and some middle of the road soundbites (and just look how far those candidates got in 2015). But here is a candidate who has worked at the political coalface and has substance. Hope for 2016 Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Great idea to spread commuters travel over a longer time-line. Not sure on involving the garden bridge into this as they are very different concepts.

  • nvelope2003 7th Jan '16 - 10:17am

    It appears that the journey has to start before 0730. It might be wiser to restrict the concession to journeys which finish before 0730. One of the proposed savings is to abolish the concession to TfL employees which allows them to nominate one person to have free travel. The last time this was attempted strike action was proposed by the unions. Tfl has to cover its full operating costs by 2018 – 2 years earlier than originally planned. How is this to be achieved by reducing fares on an already overcrowded system ? Do we want to encourage even more travel ? Fares are high but the level of service is also high and someone has to pay for it. If people were paid a decent wage fares would be less of an issue. It is time to stop subsidising employers’ profits.

  • Interesting that Caroline’s website hasn’t been updated since 18-December…

    So taking the report in the ES [ ]

    My first reaction was to laugh! Because the reduction is intended to apply to ALL journeys that begin before 7:30am, including those from zone six with no limit being placed on destination. So this means that a commute from North London to say Hounslow or Croydon (I’ve done both) that has to start at around 7:00am to (reliably) be at a desk for 9:00am would benefit from these fares; whilst at the same time travelling within the core zones during rush hour…

    Additionally, due to these being regular commutes, I obviously used a Travelcard. I note that currently the 7-day Travelcard for the above commutes would give the same effective per journey fare as Caroline is proposing…

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