One hour bus ticket in London

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londonbridge

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Can't see a thread on this yet, BBC News reporting that in one of his first acts as Mayor, Sadiq Khan is introducing a one hour 'hopper' fare on London's buses, whereby if you touch in on a second bus within one hour of touching on your first bus, you won't be charged for the second journey. TFL say that at the moment it will be limited to one additional journey but they hope to expand it to unlimited timed journeys by 2018. Starts in September.
In his first policy act as new mayor of London, Sadiq Khan is introducing a one-hour "hopper-fare" for bus users as promised in his election manifesto.The fare system allows bus passengers to make an extra journey within an hour of touching in when using an Oyster card or contactless payment.
Previously, customers were obliged to pay £1.50 each time they boarded a bus.
The hopper-fare will "help ensure everyone will be able to afford to travel around the city," Mr Khan said.
It is scheduled to be introduced in September....
 
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Romilly

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This will help in the context of situations such as that prevailing in the case of services on the 53 route where, for over a year, the route has (except between midnight and 5am) been terminated short at the central London end: Plumstead-bound PAYG passengers from central London will no longer need to pay twice.
 

ValleyLines142

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Is it just me that thinks that one hour is too short? Why not 90 minutes or two hours - especially once you've factored in waiting for the second bus etc.

In all honesty though, the wait for the second bus isn't really that long, they all run so frequently. If anything it should be based on the assumption of how long a journey will take across the city.
 

Statto

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Is it just me that thinks that one hour is too short? Why not 90 minutes or two hours - especially once you've factored in waiting for the second bus etc.

In all honesty though, the wait for the second bus isn't really that long, they all run so frequently. If anything it should be based on the assumption of how long a journey will take across the city.

Because of the traffic, bus journeys can take more than an hour, plus long services like 25 & 83 which take 80 minutes plus, great idea but needs to be longer cut off time, either 90 minutes or 2 hours.
 

robbob700

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The total journey can take more than an hour though. It's just the second touch-in that needs to be within 1 hour of the first. I think this is designed for people who make a short journey using 2 buses who are currently paying £3.00 for a relatively short distance.
To be honest, if you have been on the 25 for its complete length then you have already got a bargain at £1.50!

If you extend the time too much, you start to get a lot of people getting a return journey for £1.50 which is not what is intended.
 

infobleep

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Can't see a thread on this yet, BBC News reporting that in one of his first acts as Mayor, Sadiq Khan is introducing a one hour 'hopper' fare on London's buses, whereby if you touch in on a second bus within one hour of touching on your first bus, you won't be charged for the second journey. TFL say that at the moment it will be limited to one additional journey but they hope to expand it to unlimited timed journeys by 2018. Starts in September.
Is this Khan's idea or one in the pipeline he can take the credit for.

It's a good idea. How much revenue would be lost though?

Sent from my SM-G925F using Tapatalk
 
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MedwayValiant

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If you extend the time too much, you start to get a lot of people getting a return journey for £1.50 which is not what is intended.

Does the Oyster system "know" which way a bus is going?

What I'm thinking is that it might be possible to set this up so that a second journey in the same direction on one route would not be charged (for the benefit of passengers whose bus breaks down or turns short), but a journey in the reverse direction on the same route would be charged (so you don't get a return for the price of a single).
 

TheGrandWazoo

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Is this Khan's idea or one in the pipeline he can take the credit for.

It's a good idea. How much revenue would be lost though?

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From BBC website "The idea of a one hour "hopper" has been around for some time, it was part of the Liberal Democrats Mayoral manifesto in 2012 and Transport for London (Tfl) previously said a one-hour bus ticket will cost £50m a year."
 

Tetchytyke

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Does the Oyster system "know" which way a bus is going?

No.

I'd say 60 minutes was fairly reasonable, as it is clearly designed for people who have to take two buses to go a fairly short distance.

The idea is not a new one, it keeps getting floated, but my understanding is that TfL haven't been keen on it.
 

infobleep

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No.

I'd say 60 minutes was fairly reasonable, as it is clearly designed for people who have to take two buses to go a fairly short distance.

The idea is not a new one, it keeps getting floated, but my understanding is that TfL haven't been keen on it.
Looks like now they will suddenly have to be keen on it. Lol.

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skyhigh

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The other thing of note here is that it means that transfer tickets can be abolished in the event of a breakdown.

I wouldn't say so, not quite yet at least. If you normally take a journey using two buses and get charged £1.50, you'd be a bit miffed to be charged £3 because a bus broke down and you had to use the second tap-in on the same leg of the journey! By all means, yes they could be abolished after 2018 though.
 

Deerfold

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I wouldn't say so, not quite yet at least. If you normally take a journey using two buses and get charged £1.50, you'd be a bit miffed to be charged £3 because a bus broke down and you had to use the second tap-in on the same leg of the journey! By all means, yes they could be abolished after 2018 though.

Not if you're on an 80-minute long 25 journey that then terminated after 65 minutes.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Looks like now they will suddenly have to be keen on it. Lol.

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I don't think TfL have cared one way or the other. However, they've worked out a cost which will have to be found from one budget or another.
 

plcd1

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The other thing of note here is that it means that transfer tickets can be abolished in the event of a breakdown.

No it doesn't. If you're on the second leg of a journey you would not get a third discount if the second bus conked out and you had to board another bus. If your PAYG balance has gone negative on boarding a bus and it conks out then you've no ability to pay on the next one. Therefore a transfer ticket will be needed to cover that situation.

I take your general point and there should be a reduction in transfer tickets being needed but it doesn't mean their abolition.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
In all honesty though, the wait for the second bus isn't really that long, they all run so frequently. If anything it should be based on the assumption of how long a journey will take across the city.

Sorry but as ever there are exceptions. There are parts of London such as Orpington where some services run only every 70, 80 or 150 minutes. Some other services have low frequencies in the evenings or early mornings. The other important issue is night buses - there are some instances where connections in the suburbs are essential for people to get home but they may have a long journey from Central London before reaching the point where they can make their connection. With the upcoming expansion of weekend night buses then more journey options become viable but those new routes will nearly all run every 30 mins. Just miss one having had a 35 min ride from the centre and you're paying a second fare.

It doesn't matter where you set the time parameter because there will also be people and situations where it is exceeded and people will feel cheated. I am sure TfL will get all sorts of moans and complaints and demands for the time limit to be extended.

The existing transfer scheme in New Addington allows 70 mins for interchange between Tramlink and a defined set of bus services. TfL are clearly using the same system logic for this first phase of the Hopper ticket but with a different time parameter. On the Underground there is a far more sophisticated set of max journey time parameters for PAYG journeys. The jny times can be set to different durations depending on day of the week and time of the day to reflect the fact that frequencies vary widely as do journey times. Plenty of NR stns that only have half hourly or sometimes hourly services hence the need for longer max jny times. I wonder if the more sophisticated Hopper ticket in 2018 will have a more nuanced way of handling the interchange time based on time of day, day of the week and by route used?
 

Bletchleyite

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It is in a way a shame that buses don't require you to touch out, as if they did the journey time would be irrelevant, and you could have a much shorter interval based on typical frequencies at that time of day.
 

duncanp

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What happens if someone takes a bus journey that lasts (say) 50 minutes, and then has to wait more than 10 minutes for a connecting service?

I know that the system will then charge another £1.50, but I can see this causing aggro for bus drivers in that people will start complaining that the bus should have arrived with the one hour time limit for a free transfer.

A similar thing used to happen in the Stone Age (ie the 1970s) at which time OAPs passes (in London) were not valid between 4pm and 7pm. So you would get a rush of OAPs getting to the bus stop between 3:30 and 3:45 (just as the schools were emptying) and inevitably there would be delays and the bus would arrive at 4:01.

Cue complaints and arguments between OAPs and drivers or conductors, similar to what happens with the 09:30 start in some areas today.

Perhaps the time limit should be two hours or 90 minutes, as has been suggested earlier.
 

londonbridge

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In terms of return journeys for the price of a single I did manage to acheive this on the tram earlier this year, had an appointment at Cricket Green Medical Practice, got the tram from Ampere Way to Belgrave Walk, was seen, got the tram back. When I checked my statements I saw I'd only been charged the once so my second journey was within the window to get a transfer on the tram. Luckily there was no RPI as afterwards I wondered what they might have made of it.
 

plcd1

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It is in a way a shame that buses don't require you to touch out, as if they did the journey time would be irrelevant, and you could have a much shorter interval based on typical frequencies at that time of day.

Surely the system would then have to have a geographic knowledge to reflect the possibility that the service you are connecting on to may only run every 70 mins? Worse it would probably have to be directional because there's less of an issue if you start your journey on a very low frequency service and then connect to one which is reasonably frequent. However turn the journey round and arrive at the interchange point with a 40 minute wait - different proposition altogether.

I know these are "edge" cases given a lot of the TfL network is pretty frequent most of the time but the reality is that a flat fare, rather than zonal fares like trains, means any concept of overall journey times has to cope with the worst cases. It would be slightly refined with exit validation but the other difference is that with buses you validate on boarding the vehicle while with trains you validate on entering the station / platform and then may have a further wait there. The transaction process is different meaning the commercial parameters would need to reflect that. The problem is that London's bus network is actually very varied and trying to cope with variation is not easy. It will be interesting to see how / if the Hopper ticket operation is tweaked over time as people use it.
 

JonathanH

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Redhill to Central London for £1.50 should be just about possible on the 405/X68 in the early morning with a 60-minute limit for touching in on the second bus - you can't really say that 60 minutes is too short a period in that circumstance.

Maybe exit validation and the return of fare stages will be the counterbalance and the days of being able to make 10-mile journeys for the same fare as going one stop are numbered.
 
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Busaholic

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The idea for a one-hour transfer ticket was mooted by Christian Wolmar when he was seeking the Labour nomination for Mayor, and was then adopted by Sadiq Khan when he got the nomination.
The new policy should be considered in conjunction with the review that TfL are conducting into their current policy that bus routes, with very few exceptions, should be scheduled to run end to end at all times. This policy, which I've criticised on this forum previously, essentially was a by-product of the flat fare system adopted quite some years ago now, The review will, I am sure, conclude that services should have more flexibility, even if the concept of through journeys still being available on almost all routes at all times of day is maintained.
One question for the geeks on here as to the mechanics, or should I say electronics, of this - do all ticket machines/readers show exactly the same time as any other? In other words, is there a London standard time?
 

plcd1

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The idea for a one-hour transfer ticket was mooted by Christian Wolmar when he was seeking the Labour nomination for Mayor, and was then adopted by Sadiq Khan when he got the nomination.
The new policy should be considered in conjunction with the review that TfL are conducting into their current policy that bus routes, with very few exceptions, should be scheduled to run end to end at all times. This policy, which I've criticised on this forum previously, essentially was a by-product of the flat fare system adopted quite some years ago now, The review will, I am sure, conclude that services should have more flexibility, even if the concept of through journeys still being available on almost all routes at all times of day is maintained.
One question for the geeks on here as to the mechanics, or should I say electronics, of this - do all ticket machines/readers show exactly the same time as any other? In other words, is there a London standard time?

Mr Wolmar might have suggested the idea in Labour circles but the One Hour bus ticket concept was proposed by Lib Dems on the London Assembly years and years ago. Boris was asked to introduce it umpteen times via Mayor's Questions. The cost of the scheme was also revealed via those answers. Several years TfL discussed the concept and costs in a Fares Briefing Paper to the Mayor. Therefore there is nothing really very new or very Labour about the idea at all.

I wasn't aware TfL were reviewing the principle of end to end running. Can you say where you saw this? (genuine question btw)

On the subject of "time" then I think the ticket machines and readers are linked into the GPS functionality for I-Bus. This will ensure there is "universal system time" across the bus fleet - assuming, of course, that the kit on the vehicle is working. If you ever sit near the front of a TfL bus so you can see the ETM display you will see a code number of the display that changes as the bus moves along. This is the I-Bus code for each stop that the bus is heading towards. TfL captures this code alongside every card validation as people board the bus so TfL know exactly which card boarded at each stop. It could impute who is likely to be using the card if the card is registered or has some form of linked ID (for a concession). Of course PAYG only cards are transferable. The fact that the stop code display changes as the bus moves shows the ETM and card reader are linked into I-Bus and GPS.
 

Busaholic

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Mr Wolmar might have suggested the idea in Labour circles but the One Hour bus ticket concept was proposed by Lib Dems on the London Assembly years and years ago. Boris was asked to introduce it umpteen times via Mayor's Questions. The cost of the scheme was also revealed via those answers. Several years TfL discussed the concept and costs in a Fares Briefing Paper to the Mayor. Therefore there is nothing really very new or very Labour about the idea at all.

I wasn't aware TfL were reviewing the principle of end to end running. Can you say where you saw this? (genuine question btw)

On the subject of "time" then I think the ticket machines and readers are linked into the GPS functionality for I-Bus. This will ensure there is "universal system time" across the bus fleet - assuming, of course, that the kit on the vehicle is working. If you ever sit near the front of a TfL bus so you can see the ETM display you will see a code number of the display that changes as the bus moves along. This is the I-Bus code for each stop that the bus is heading towards. TfL captures this code alongside every card validation as people board the bus so TfL know exactly which card boarded at each stop. It could impute who is likely to be using the card if the card is registered or has some form of linked ID (for a concession). Of course PAYG only cards are transferable. The fact that the stop code display changes as the bus moves shows the ETM and card reader are linked into I-Bus and GPS.

The concept of a transfer ticket on buses has been around since flat fares were first introduced in this country, which, in the case of London, occurred withy Red Arrow routes fifty years ago! My first day's work, in 1967, involved travel on such a route, the 500, from Victoria. Maybe the Lib Dems made lots of noises about them, but, let's face it, the mayoral system precludes the rest of the assembly from having any real power or influence, unless a mayor chooses to listen, which of course the last one never did.

The review of end-to-end running was announced in a one-line paragraph in John Aldridge's excellent column on London buses and bus routes in May's 'Buses' magazine. He appears to be generally very well-informed, so I don't believe it is just speculation. He has made his views known on this subject in previous issues - he thinks, as I do, that TfL had become too ideologically wedded to all buses being 'through' buses regardless of where on the route had the most demand at any one time.

Re the timing element - thanks for confirming what I had suspected, but didn't know for sure. My next question, either to you or to anyone else, is this. How does the passenger, as opposed to the machine, know the precise time they boarded the first bus? I have a free pass at all times, so wouldn't have to concern myself with it, but unless the time is printed out somewhere I can envisage loads of arguments with drivers of the second bus, even though the matter will be outside their control. Actually, I can see this policy being very unpopular with drivers.
 

radamfi

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How does the passenger, as opposed to the machine, know the precise time they boarded the first bus?

If you use contactless, you can see the time of boarding within a few minutes in the online account.
 

MikeWh

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Just a couple of interjections from me. I wonder whether the initial change in September will use the same 70 minute cut-off that the trams and feeder buses use. The extra 10 minutes could be seen as a grace period to ensure that the hour isn't ruined by a traffic jam. This would be similar to the logic that sees the peak rail charging start a few minutes after 0630/1600 and end a few minutes before 0930/1900.

Also, I have to question just how much many people will really save. The daily cap is already set at three bus journeys so a commuter using two buses each way will only save £1.50. I'm sure it is good news, just not sure how excited to get.

Finally, to those who quibble about needing longer to cope with lengthier bus journeys, I think the way this needs to be viewed is as a one hour bus pass. If your bus journey takes longer than one hour then perhaps you should expect to pay more.
 

bb21

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If someone's first journey took 40/50 minutes then I see no reason why the second journey should not be chargeable. The first journey would probably have been long enough for £1.50 to be a very reasonable fare. I wonder how far £1.50 will get you in provincial cities.

It is understandable that people making a very short first journey not be charged again especially if using it only as a connection from areas poorly served by buses onto a main bus route. In the opposite direction it is a bit tricky if the first leg took a long time while the second only a very short local connection. Perhaps an alternative could be that each subsequent journey on the day be given a discount, so for example, first journey of the day £2, and each subsequent journey £1, or such like, or first journey (any mode) charged at the ordinary rate, and each subsequent journey given a 50p discount. Just a thought.

Whatever the cut-off, there will be people who lose out, and 60 minutes seems reasonable enough to me. It is not perfect, but a step in the right direction. Glad to see people are moaning already.
 

Flying_Turtle

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Starting from where the Bus tickets are now.... anything is a progress!
If an ocasional trip is to involve a bus transfer after more than 30/45 minutes travelling then people should probably use the tube/rail
 
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