Future for London's Rail Fares

MikeWh

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So the news last night reports that TfL/The Mayor have been bailed out, but with conditions. The main one has been spun as The Mayor having to break his fares freeze promise, but actually that's a bit of a distortion of the truth. The fares freeze was only promised until Jan 2020. I don't think Khan had committed to what would happen if he was re-elected as Mayor this month before the contest was postponed for a year. So I don't think it's fair to say he's breaking his promise.

However, with the government controlling all the TOCs at the moment, and able to pull the strings with TfL too, is this an opportunity to rationalise the fare structure within zones 1-6? Could we have one simple fare scale for all rail travel, whether by Tube, National Rail or a mixture of both?

Scrapping the mixed mode premium when journeys use some NR with Tube and include zone 1 would take one of the major inequalities away from the system. There would probably be some revenue loss, but would the simplicity actually save some money? If there was no difference in fares between NR/Tube would the Heathrow Piccadilly line lose some ridership to the adjacent SWR Hounslow line, thus easing overcrowding (once things settle down again)?

What do people think?
 
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PG

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However, with the government controlling all the TOCs at the moment, and able to pull the strings with TfL too, is this an opportunity to rationalise the fare structure within zones 1-6? Could we have one simple fare scale for all rail travel, whether by Tube, National Rail or a mixture of both?
Sounds eminently sensible, so this being the railway means it won't happen :lol:
 

matt_world2004

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I wonder if the government will strip TfL of its cpay technology so that it could be used on all rail services in the south east
 

Snow1964

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It would also appear that the 60+ and/or freedom pass that is currently anytime will be restricted to stop peak hour travel.

I’m sure back in 1970s used to be not before 9:30am (or perhaps 10am) and not between 3:30 and 6pm. At some stage the afternoon restriction was dropped, and in more recent years the morning restriction also dropped making it anytime on bus, tube, overground, TfL rail

The current fare zones are quite poor, if you look at them on a map, (not a not to scale diagram), they are not even concentric rings, but zig-zag all over the place. Definitely need sorting, and probably zones 6-9 need to exist within M25 instead of being bits where convenient.
 

Hadders

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Given the financial pressures I doubt very much if we'll see any reduction in fares. If anything fares will be levelled up rather than levelled down.

I wouldn't rule out things like:

- Significant increase in fares between Z1 stations. They can say it's to encourage people to walk and cycle
- Inflation busting increase in daily and weekly caps
- Removal of free travel on 5-10 Zip Cards
- Additional premium fare for travel to Heathrow (even on the Piccadilly Line)
- A right old mess of more expensive fares to use Crossrail

Remember that the DfT do not have a good track record when it comes to fares. They will expect pay back for having to bail out TfL.
 

matt_world2004

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I know someone with a London freedom pass, she can't use her pass before 9.30am on the tube.
They can use their freedom pass before 9:30 am on the tube. Currently for non TfL national rail services after 9:30 am it can be used within zones 1-6
 

matt_world2004

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She lives in london and coming off what she told me.

What's your knowledge base ? Do you have a freedom pass yourself ?

You can travel for free or get discounts on a range of transport services across London.

Buses, trams and trains
Travel free any time on bus, tram, Tube, DLR, London Overground and TfL Rail.

Travel free after 9:30 weekdays, and any time on weekends and public holidays on most National Rail Services in London.
 

Doyle87

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She lives in london and coming off what she told me.

What's your knowledge base ? Do you have a freedom pass yourself ?
I do, and I can confirm that currently you can use a freedom pass 24 hours a day on bus, tube, overground, DLR, tram and TfL rail
 

Doyle87

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So the news last night reports that TfL/The Mayor have been bailed out, but with conditions. The main one has been spun as The Mayor having to break his fares freeze promise, but actually that's a bit of a distortion of the truth. The fares freeze was only promised until Jan 2020. I don't think Khan had committed to what would happen if he was re-elected as Mayor this month before the contest was postponed for a year. So I don't think it's fair to say he's breaking his promise.

However, with the government controlling all the TOCs at the moment, and able to pull the strings with TfL too, is this an opportunity to rationalise the fare structure within zones 1-6? Could we have one simple fare scale for all rail travel, whether by Tube, National Rail or a mixture of both?

Scrapping the mixed mode premium when journeys use some NR with Tube and include zone 1 would take one of the major inequalities away from the system. There would probably be some revenue loss, but would the simplicity actually save some money? If there was no difference in fares between NR/Tube would the Heathrow Piccadilly line lose some ridership to the adjacent SWR Hounslow line, thus easing overcrowding (once things settle down again)?

What do people think?
I doubt anything so drastic will happen. If you permanently take away the Mayor's powers over TfL then what's the point of the position? He has little power over anything else and come next year, it won't look good next year on the doorstep for Shaun Bailey...
 

Doyle87

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It would also appear that the 60+ and/or freedom pass that is currently anytime will be restricted to stop peak hour travel.

I’m sure back in 1970s used to be not before 9:30am (or perhaps 10am) and not between 3:30 and 6pm. At some stage the afternoon restriction was dropped, and in more recent years the morning restriction also dropped making it anytime on bus, tube, overground, TfL rail

The current fare zones are quite poor, if you look at them on a map, (not a not to scale diagram), they are not even concentric rings, but zig-zag all over the place. Definitely need sorting, and probably zones 6-9 need to exist within M25 instead of being bits where convenient.
Travel between 9.30am and 4.30 a.m is paid for by London councils with the remaining 5 hours covered by TfL. Indeed I believe that the core hours are protected by the same legislation that created the position of the mayor of London.
 

JonathanH

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Scrapping the mixed mode premium when journeys use some NR with Tube and include zone 1 would take one of the major inequalities away from the system. There would probably be some revenue loss, but would the simplicity actually save some money? If there was no difference in fares between NR/Tube would the Heathrow Piccadilly line lose some ridership to the adjacent SWR Hounslow line, thus easing overcrowding (once things settle down again)?
I can't see this. Either NR or TfL would have to take the hit if the mixed mode premium were abolished and removal increases the number of people taking a short hop within Zone 1 instead of walking. I don't see how the simplicity would save money.

Equalling up fares to the NR scale outside of Zone 1 or perhaps having no peak / off-peak differential on the existing TfL structure may be another move. Remember that the government is telling people not to travel by public transport unless it is essential.

On another matter, it is pretty clear that Grant Shapps is very keen on the introduction of PAYG and replacement of paper tickets over a wider area. This does bring in the perfect conditions for the government and Department for Transport to implement a change to the fare structure around London without the need for recognising what the current fares are.

The current fare zones are quite poor, if you look at them on a map, (not a not to scale diagram), they are not even concentric rings, but zig-zag all over the place. Definitely need sorting, and probably zones 6-9 need to exist within M25 instead of being bits where convenient.
I think that is wishful thinking. The M25 is not at an equal distance all the way round London. If PAYG is going outwards, it will be at appropriate fares for each route, not necessarily aligned with zones 7-9.

The issue here is a need to collect more revenue and, for the time being, limit demand, not increase it.
 

Doyle87

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I can't see this. Either NR or TfL would have to take the hit if the mixed mode premium were abolished and removal increases the number of people taking a short hop within Zone 1 instead of walking. I don't see how the simplicity would save money.

Equalling up fares to the NR scale outside of Zone 1 or perhaps having no peak / off-peak differential on the existing TfL structure may be another move. Remember that the government is telling people not to travel by public transport unless it is essential.

On another matter, it is pretty clear that Grant Shapps is very keen on the introduction of PAYG and replacement of paper tickets over a wider area. This does bring in the perfect conditions for the government and Department for Transport to implement a change to the fare structure around London without the need for recognising what the current fares are.
I think you're overestimating the amount of control central government will have over TfL...
 

JonathanH

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I think you're overestimating the amount of control central government will have over TfL...
Yes, maybe that is fair. However

* I still don't see how the DfT and TfL could reach agreement on the removal of the mixed-mode premium.
* While alignment of NR and TfL scales may be a step too far, a condition of peak fares all day is a relatively 'simple' thing to do and could be seen as 'fair' since it would restore a graduated fare scale for distance travelled.
* Extension of PAYG and removal of "paper tickets" is very much a Government policy.
 

Doyle87

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Yes, maybe that is fair. However

* I still don't see how the DfT and TfL could reach agreement on the removal of the mixed-mode premium.
* While alignment of NR and TfL scales may be a step too far, a condition of peak fares all day is a relatively 'simple' thing to do and could be seen as 'fair' since it would restore a graduated fare scale for distance travelled.
* Extension of PAYG and removal of "paper tickets" is very much a Government policy.
I can imagine if any conditions can't be agreed to then the government will simply not hand over the cash, indeed if the government's conditions are too onerous I could very well see Sadiq refusing to keep to the conditions of the bailout. After all, he's got little to lose, he's got the next election in the bag.
 

JonathanH

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What legislation?
 

matt_world2004

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Cheers.

I always had the impression that while bus usage after 9:30am was a statutory requirement under the GLA for freedom pass usage and that every other obligation was through mayoral directions.
 

PeterC

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Cheers.

I always had the impression that while bus usage after 9:30am was a statutory requirement under the GLA for freedom pass usage and that every other obligation was through mayoral directions.
24 hour acceptance on buses seems to be a statutory requirement. My reading of the rest is that they are may, rather than must, give concessions on rail, tube and tram. (I am willing to be corrected, the act was written without plain English in mind)

I am sure that any harmonisation of fares would involve levelling up rather than down.
 
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If you go to an area outside of your own, your concessionary pass will only work after 9.30am...
Except London, where you can use it any time on a bus.

Anything provided by legislation can of course be undone by more legislation. I can see no reason for Freedom Passes and 60+ to work much outside Greater London (Dartford, Watford, etc., obvious useful cases). It *is* time to remove the different fares by colour of paint, there is no reason that existing fares could not be adjusted up and down to make it neutral. And finally, if I ruled the world, a cross-London NR ticket would be valid on a bus. If cardboard tickets are still required (and I'm not sure they are) they can be provided as disposable contactless tickets, saving TfL and the TOCs a fortune in barrier moving parts.
 

deltic

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I think you're overestimating the amount of control central government will have over TfL...
I think you will find central government has effectively total control over TfL now.

It has dictated the removal of free child fares, restrictions on freedom passes, reintroduction and extension of operating hours of the congestion charge with a substantial increase to £15, increase in fares by RPI+1. It has also representatives overseeing TfL's operational activities - which is worrying if they are internal as DfT has no operational experience so I am assuming they will be consultants or retired ex-operators from elsewhere. They have done over the Mayor well and proper purely for political reasons.
 

si404

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The obvious fare oddities to get rid of are the Euston - DC line stops and Liverpool Street - Cheshunt peak 'London Terminals' legacy discounts vs Z1 fares (most of the order of 20 or 30 pence, the biggest being 70p).

Brentwood needs rezoning, or Amersham and Chesham become zone 8 (single fares are only 10p cheaper, with a couple of minor exceptions. Though peak time caps/seasons are quite a bit cheaper from Z8) - they have very different fares. Then all that needs changing on the TfL scales to make them just one is the off-peak fares not involving zone 1. Or just keep them different scales - you might as well use different scales outside zone 6 (or 7 or 8) which are controlled by the fare-setting TOC. And then the contactless-only and "Merstham and Horley are in the same zone" nonsense could go.

I believe the flat fares within Z2-6 (and the similar fares from Z7-9) are revenue generating, getting marginal passengers onto trains, so I'd reduce the Anglia fares to those (one would be a 10p raise, but most a reduction), rather than the other way around. You want (except for under the specific unusual circumstances we have at the moment) to encourage outer borough off-peak users onto the tube, even if they are travelling greater distances as inner-London journeys but paying the same fare - you are running the trains, and the marginal cost is little, so the more the merrier!

Gradually reduce the premiums for South London by increasing NR fares slower than TfL, and NR+tube fares even slower, if at all.
 

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