The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced that he has asked Transport for London (TfL) to extend free travel on the capital’s public transport for the lowest paid contract workers.
In order to do everything he can to support the lowest paid Londoners as the cost of living spirals, Sadiq has asked TfL to extend the benefit of free travel on TfL’s public transport network to transport workers on the lowest salaries.
This will mean than that free travel will be introduced for around 5,000 transport workers, who were not previously eligible for free travel. Since first being elected Mayor, Sadiq has made sure all who work in TfL, including contractors, are paid the London Living Wage. This new ground-breaking announcement will include cleaning, catering and security staff, and the cost will be covered by City Hall.
Free travel on TfL services is already given to staff employed directly by TfL, and Oyster cards are also issued to bus drivers and operators of other TfL services as part of their benefit package. The benefit of free travel on TfL’s network to the lowest paid workers, who aren’t employed by TfL, will be introduced for eligible staff of suppliers to TfL by April 2023. At a time when the cost of living is increasing, and Londoners on the lowest incomes are being hit the hardest, the Mayor is taking unprecedented action to ease the pressure being faced by the lowest paid transport workers.
These workers – cleaners, catering staff, security staff – weren’t previously able to access this benefit as they are employed by TfL’s suppliers rather than by TfL directly, but the Mayor has asked TfL to extend free travel to these workers in order to support those on the lowest pay.
In addition, the Mayor has asked TfL to look into whether sick-pay standards for the lowest paid workers could be improved in future, and to conduct work early next year to assess TfL’s ability to bring cleaning services in house.
The Mayor continues to do all he can to help Londoners, including spending more than £80m this year specifically to help those struggling with the rising cost of living. That includes more than £50m to tackle fuel poverty through the Mayor’s Warmer Homes programme and energy advice services, more than £20m to improve security for private renters and house Londoners who are rough sleeping or homeless, more than £5m to connect Londoners with welfare advice, and £400,000 to tackle food insecurity. He has also spent billions building affordable homes for Londoners and invested £400m this year alone to help Londoners find more secure and better paid work. These are just some of the policies the mayor is working on every day to help Londoners during this cost of living crisis.
Mr Khan, said: “London’s transport workers, who did so much for us during the pandemic, continue to play an essential and much-valued role in keeping our city’s transport network safe and operating.
“I’m deeply concerned about the fact the spiralling cost of living is hitting those on lower incomes the hardest. That’s why I’m taking unprecedented action to support London’s lowest paid transport workers by removing the cost of using public transport.
“I will continue to do everything I can to help Londoners with spiralling costs, including providing targeted support directly to those on lower incomes, and to prevent financial inequalities widening further so we can continue to build a better, fairer and more prosperous city for all Londoners.”