Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Boris rushes to hike fares but delays penalty fares

Shepherd's Bush had the last surviving bendy bus - the 207 - until December 10th last year when the "free bus" as the route was widely known in reference to the fare evasion that was quite obviously routine among its passengers, was withdrawn. At the time there was controversy about the fact that this change would reduce passenger numbers on the route - and also that the Mayor had spent £11 million on the new routemaster design which is set to be introduced just before the Mayoral elections, as part of his flagship policy on buses.

What we now know, according to the Mayorwatch blog from yesterday, is that the Mayor has also delayed the introduction of new penalty fares which he also trumpeted at the time as a means of clawing back the lost revenue from fare evaders who were enjoying their bendy "free buses". The penalty was to rise, from Jan 2nd to coincide with this years hike in fares, to £80 as you can see from this "Mayoral Decision".

Notices on buses? No problem.
A TfL spokesperson has told Matyorwatch that the problem is down to not being able to get notices up on buses in time. Pathetic. I saw no such inability to put notices up to announce the new fare hikes and in any case as Mayorwatch ask, it's not as if they didn't have enough notice.

They certainly had enough time to pump out press releases about it.

LibDem Leader on the Greater London Authority Caroline Pidgeon is not best impressed. She said yesterday that:
"This is a necessary step to reduce fare evasion - and indeed the Mayor needs to explain why this proposal has now been delayed. 
"Given the high cost of fares, passengers expect the Mayor to tackle fare evaders who are playing the system.  
"However honesty cuts both ways. We must now end the abuse where so many passengers are being overcharged on their Oystercards."
Hard to disagree.


  1. Oyster Cards will be gone in two years' time. Fact.

  2. Where?! Joining Mixed Sea Food Platter??

  3. They're going to be phased out in favour of "wave and pay" debit and credit cards. In other words, TfL will take the money straight out of your account each day (unless you buy a travelcard/season ticket).

    It makes sense, as it means that TfL will no longer be holding lots of cash in their accounts that hasn't actually been spent on travel. I imagine that's a pretty big logistical issue at the moment.