The newly elected Mayor of London Sadiq Khan declared on Tuesday that he intends to make bus journeys cheaper and more convenient for Londoners with the introduction of a one hour ‘Hopper’ fare this September.
Khan, the son of a London bus driver, used the bus on his way to City Hall for his first day as Mayor of London. He announced that the new Hopper fare will automatically be given to anyone who uses pay as you go with Oyster cards or contactless payments and will allow passengers to make an additional bus journey for free within one hour of touching in on the first bus.
For many Londoners, this new bus fare will mean an end to having to pay two fares when changing bus routes. It is also expected to be of particular benefit to people on lower incomes who often rely on the bus network to get around the capital.
There were an estimated two and a half billion bus journeys in the capital last year, which included 600 million pay-as-you-go bus journeys. Of these, an estimated 86 million passengers went on to make another bus journey within one hour.
Limits on the ticketing technology used by Transport for London (TfL) mean that unlimited bus transfers within one hour are not currently possible. However this technology will be upgraded in 2017, which will enable TfL to offer unlimited journeys within an hour by the end of 2018.
Making the announcement, Khan, remarked: “My dad drove the number 44 bus and transport in London has always been a big part of my life. The cost of a fare in London has risen for eight years in a row and now that I’m Mayor I am determined to prevent the cost of travel from becoming a barrier to work.
“The ‘Hopper’ fare will make life cheaper and easier for millions of Londoners, and will help ensure that everyone will be able to afford to travel around the city. It is just the start of my plan to ensure that travelling around London is affordable for everyone, a commitment that includes a freeze on TfL fares for four years – benefiting millions of people.”
Mike Brown, London’s Transport Commissioner, added: “This new option will benefit a huge number of our passengers. For many people catching more than one bus is the only way they can get from A to B. This fare will enable us to better meet the needs of those Londoners who live or work in areas which aren’t as well served by Tube or rail services.”
Sadiq’s role as the executive of London’s strategic authority is to promote economic development and wealth creation, social development and improvement of the environment. The Mayor is elected every four years and carries out various other duties in relation to culture and tourism, including responsibility for Trafalgar Square and Parliament. The Mayor of London sets the budget and is responsible for making London a better place for everyone who visits, lives or works in the city. His duties include the creation of plans and policies for the capital that cover: Arts & Culture, Business & Economy, Environment, Fire, Health, Housing and Land, Planning, Policing & Crime, Regeneration, Sport, Transport and Young People.