London Tube and bus passenger numbers getting closer to pre-pandemic levels

Tube passenger numbers have increased by 25% since early January, while bus passenger numbers have risen by almost 10%.

The number of people using the Tube and bus has increased significantly since early January, according to new data from Transport for London (TfL).

Commuters have reported public transport has been getting busier during rush hours, with more Londoners returning to the office.

Tube passenger levels on weekdays have increased by 25% since the work from home guidance has been dropped, and are now at about 60% of pre-pandemic levels.

And at the weekend it is even higher, with London Underground use at three-quarters of the capacity before Covid.

Bus use has not been affected as much by the restrictions, but TfL figures still showed it rose by almost 10%, to reach 75% of the pre-Covid rate.

The data was gathered from contactless payments and Oyster cards, but it does not include paper tickets.

Working from home restrictions were lifted on January 19, which is thought to have contributed to the increase.

TfL is currently facing a £1.9 billion funding gap and the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has warned of Tube and bus services being cut.

Tube passenger levels have increased by 25% and are now at about 60% of pre-pandemic levels. Credit: TfL

Seb Dance, deputy mayor for transport, said: “London’s transport network is crucial for a sustainable recovery, and it’s fantastic to see passengers confidently using it as they return to workplaces and to enjoy all the city has to offer.

Bus passenger levels were not as affected, rising by almost 10%, to reach 75% of the pre-Covid rate. Credit: TfL

“The increased footfall is great news for London’s businesses and hospitality venues which have been hit so hard by the pandemic.

“These figures also highlight how vital a comprehensive bus network is for London, not only for people getting around central London but also for those who don’t live as near to other modes of transport - with some areas in outer London nearly at pre-pandemic levels once again.”

Andy Lord, chief operating officer for TfL, said: “It’s great to see that ridership on our services is continuing to grow in recent weeks as restrictions about working from home have been lifted.

“These latest figures indicate that millions of Londoners are now regularly using public transport, showing continued confidence that services are safe, clean and reliable.”