TfL: Sadiq Khan to trial ‘off-peak Fridays’ for Tube and trains in London

The trial is expected to begin in March and last for three months.
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Off-peak Tube and train fares on Fridays are to be trialled by Transport for London (TfL) in a bid to boost ridership and support the capital's economy.

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan is to scrap peak fares on Fridays for three months with the trial to start in March.

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City Hall says midweek Tube ridership is now at up to 85% compared to pre-pandemic levels and is continuing to grow, but Friday ridership remains lower at around 73%.

At present, Tube passengers pay peak fares on weekdays between 6.30am-9.30am and 4pm-7pm. These higher rates also apply to journeys on the Elizabeth line and the London Overground.

Off peak Fridays will be trialled on the London UndergroundOff peak Fridays will be trialled on the London Underground
Off peak Fridays will be trialled on the London Underground

Off-peak Friday fares would see travel at peak times from Zone 6 into Zone 1 fall from £5.60 to £3.60, saving passengers £2. Journeys from Zone 4 to Zone 2 will fall from £2.80 to £1.90 saving commuters 90p.

The London mayor has allocated £24m from his budget for the 2024-2025 financial year to support the trial - which will require the support of the wider rail industry.

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This follows the mayor’s decision to freeze pay-as-you-go fares until March 2025, at a cost of £123m.

Mayor Khan said: “London has really bounced back since the pandemic, but the lack of commuters returning on Fridays is a clear exception – with a major knock-on effect on our shops, cafes and cultural venues. 

“That’s why I’ve asked TfL to trial off-peak fares on Fridays, and I encourage Londoners to get involved.  

  “A trial will help us to see if it’s an effective way of increasing ridership and giving a welcome boost to businesses as we continue to build a better, fairer, more prosperous London for everyone.”

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Susan Hall, the Conservative mayoral candidate, said the trial would not make any difference.

Ms Hall said commuters "might change their habits slightly" but the saving was not enough to make a major difference.

"If people are doing a three-day week [in the office], they'll just change their days and not come in another day," she said

Charlotte, who runs the Gramos Coffee Bar at Kings Cross St Pancras Tube station welcomes the initiative.

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“As a small independent coffee shop, we rely heavily on commuter trade, and we’re just not getting that traffic on Fridays, even in a busy station like King’s Cross," she said.

“We also see a pattern of people coming in late mornings to avoid peak travel costs, so I believe a trial of off-peak fares all day on Fridays would be a welcome change. Giving people one more reason to travel into town would also bring a much-needed boost to small businesses like ours.”

London Assembly Labour Transport Spokesperson, Elly Baker AM said: “The mayor’s initiative is a vote of confidence in London’s vibrant hospitality businesses.

"London is for everyone. This change will make our great city more affordable and more accessible for all of those wanting a pint, a meal or a show on a Friday night."