All day off-peak rail and Underground fares to be trialled in London

An agreement has been reached to trial all-day off-peak rail and Underground fares in London on Fridays from March 8 until May 31.

The aim of the trial is to help Transport for London and train operators understand the impact of lower fares on ridership and to boost London’s wider economic recovery. TfL said it would be ‘keenly watched by major cities looking to bounce back after the pandemic’.

Off-peak fares will be charged for pay-as-you-go travel using contactless and Oyster smart card payment, while the daily fare cap will also be amended to an off-peak rate on Fridays. Holders of 60+ London Oyster photocard and Older Persons’ Freedom Passes will be to use them on TfL and National Rail services all day, rather than being restricted to after 09.00 or 09.30, reports Rail Gazette.

Journeys to and from Heathrow Airport via Zone 1 are excluded from the scheme. Single paper tickets and paper Day Travelcards will still be subject to peak-hour restrictions, and season tickets will not be changed.

The trial is being funded with £24m from the Mayor of London’s budget, which will be used to compensate TfL and rail operators for any net reduction in revenues and cover the costs of running the trial.

TfL will use ridership data, customer perception research and feedback from the business community to assess the overall net impact.

“Encouraging more people back into the city on Fridays could give a much-needed boost to the hospitality, business and leisure sectors, supporting London’s wider economic growth as we continue to build a fairer, greener and more prosperous London for everyone,” said Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.


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