TfL cheaper Friday Tube, Elizabeth line, DLR, Overground and rail travel trial to begin, announces Sadiq Khan

A £24m 'off-peak Fridays' trial scheme, meaning cheaper travel on TfL and National Rail services, begins in March.
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A trial scheme making all Friday Tube fares 'off peak' will begin next week (March 8), mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced.

The initiative will make travel cheaper for people using contactless payment and Oyster cards on Transport for London's (TfL) Tube and other rail services.

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It will run for a three-month trial, until May 31, in an effort to "better understand if off-peak fares on a Friday could help drive ridership and boost London’s wider economic recovery" amid the cost-of-living crisis and following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Khan has allocated £24 million to compensate TfL and rail operators during the trial and cover the costs. He said: “I’m doing all I can to support Londoners through the cost-of-living crisis and to support London’s economic recovery. This includes freezing TfL fares for another year to make transport more affordable for millions of Londoners and to encourage more people to use our transport network. But I want to do more.

“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. So, I’m making a call to all Londoners: to help London keep roaring back - let’s do Fridays.”

Earlier this year it was announced that TfL fares are frozen until March 2025.

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Peak pay-as-you-go fares usually apply between 6.30am and 9.30am, and between 4pm and 7pm on both TfL and National Rail services. With the exception of Heathrow journeys via Zone 1, all Friday journeys during the trial will be at off-peak rates, as will the daily cap.

Someone commuting from Uxbridge (Zone 6) into Holborn (Zone 1) would currently pay £5.60 for travelling on the Tube. Under the trial, the fare would be reduced to £3.60.

A commuter from Newbury Park (Zone 4) to Canary Wharf (Zone 2) currently pays £2.80 for the trip. This fare would be reduced down to £1.90.

On National Rail, someone commuting using pay as you go from Epsom to Waterloo would pay £8.80 midweek but will pay £6.10 on a Friday during the trial.

A TfL Oyster card. (Photo by André Langlois)A TfL Oyster card. (Photo by André Langlois)
A TfL Oyster card. (Photo by André Langlois)
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Bus and Tram fares remain at a flat rate of £1.75, but the trial will also see 60+ London Oyster photocard and Older Persons’ Freedom Passes allowed to be used on TfL and National Rail services before 9am on Fridays.

Shashi Verma, chief technology officer at TfL, said: “While millions of people travel using bus, Tube and rail services across London every day, we are still seeing ridership on Fridays, particularly during peak hours, being lower than other days of the week.

"This trial of making Fridays off-peak will help us better understand how targeted initiatives like this could help potentially support economic growth by encouraging more people back onto public transport and into the office on a day that is currently quieter than other weekdays.”

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Jacqueline Starr, chief executive officer at Rail Delivery Group, said: “We want more people to use rail. We’re pleased that train companies are able to work with Transport for London to offer this trial to customers and we hope it will encourage more people onto trains in the capital.”

“We know that people value rail and as seen from our latest research they plan to use it more in the upcoming months.

“It is a greener, more convenient way to travel into and around London. This trial means customers in London can travel at off-peak prices on Fridays by using pay as you go on Oyster or Contactless.”

TfL and London & Partners, London’s business growth and destination agency, have created a webpage to promote special offers at attractions on Fridays.