Sadiq Khan has only been Mayor of London for four months, but already he’s making waves. He’s taken a firm stance against body-shaming adverts on public transport and seen the opening of the Night Tube following months of strike action, delaying its launch.
Now, the Mayor has fulfilled another of his promises, and has announced that his ingenious ‘bus hopper’ ticket will be launching on Monday 12 September.
Why do we care? Well, have you ever tried to get across London using only buses? Yes? Us too, it’s not very cost effective. For one journey using multiple buses, you can end up rinsing the juice on your Oyster card and wishing you’d never bothered.
With Khan’s new pass – known as the ‘Hopper’, travellers using Pay As You Go Oyster or contactless cards will now only be charged £1.50 for their entire bus or tram journey within the space of an hour.
Additionally, from 2018, passengers who hope on a tube or train in between their two bus journeys will still have their second bus journey for free- if it falls within 60 minutes of the initial trip. Plans for unlimited bus journeys within an hour are also aimed to be realised in 2018.
The Mayor estimates that the new hopper pass will mean that 30 million bus journeys a year will now be free.
The pass is set to make London a more convenient and (mildly) more affordable city – benefitting travellers on lower incomes the most. Khan also hopes that Londoners will be persuaded to leave their cars at home now, and get on public transport instead, reducing congestion and pollution in the city.
“Fares in London have risen for eight years in a row – and for people who have to change buses to get to work, the system simply isn’t fair,” says Khan.
“Alongside out commitment to freeze all TfL fares, the start of the Hopper next Monday is a key part of our plans to make it more affordable to live and work in London.”
Well, it’s definitely a start. Next step: rent caps.