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Tag: bus

Paying more than our fare share? Are 2011 travel price hikes justified?

We’ve all heard the news about above inflation travel price rises in the New Year. But are inner suburban areas like ours getting a particularly rough deal? 

In January, single tube and bus fares are set to rise sharply — by 5.5% and 8% respectively:

Cost of a single central London tube journey            Cost of a single central London bus journey 

                      2010    2011                                                                               2010    2011

Oyster         £1.80   £1.90                                                          Oyster        £1.20   £1.30

Cash             £4.00   £4.00     A rise of 5.5%                       Cash            £2.00   £2.20    A rise of 8 %

Now comes the really bad news for our area.

Currently there are six different one-day travelcards — in January there will be just three. The only one day cards  available, peak or off-peak, will be for zones 1-2, zones 1-4, and zones 1-6. This is bad news if you currently use the Zone 2-6 travelcard, which enables you, for example, to travel from Sydenham to Canary Wharf via Canada Water without going into zone 1. This card is being scrapped forcing you to buy a travel card which includes zone 1 even if you never travel into zone one. When the Zone 2-6 One Day Travelcard is withdrawn you’ll be forced to buy a 1-4 zone card instead. That’s a massive 57% fare increase off-peak, and an astonishing 67% increase for the all-day user.

If you are thinking – so what, I never buy a One Day Travelcard anyway, think again. You’ll be paying a great deal extra, indirectly at least, through daily price-capping. Pay-as-you-go price caps are always set to match the relevant Travelcard, so if a paper Travelcard disappears then so will the matching electronic price cap.

For example, if you use your Oyster to swan around in Zones 1-5 all day, you currently never pay more than £12.60. Once the Z1-5 Travelcard vanishes you’ll have to pay up to £15.00 instead, which is the Z1-6 cap. Over a week, a month, a year, that’ll really add up. Or consider an Oyster user who makes four off-peak Zone 2-3 tube journeys in a day, each costing £1.80. At the moment the price cap kicks in at £5.10, which means the fourth journey is free. Once the Z2-6 Travelcard vanishes the price cap leaps to £8.00, which means the fourth journey costs full price.

Hardly a fair deal for local travellers!

We are indebted to the irrepressible Diamond Geezer —surely the most characterful blog in Britain—  for his analysis of coming price rises.

When will the next bus arrive?

Good news for local bus passengers.

Transport for London (TfL) has announced that two pairs of bus stops in central Sydenham will be fitted with dot matrix countdown indicators – visual displays which show how long it is before the next bus arrives. In 2011, the stops outside Boots and outside LA Fitness (plus the bus stops on the other side of the road) will be fitted with the new indicators.