Images above: London Underground
Hopes that “Off-peak Fridays” will encourage more people back into the city
London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan has proposed ‘Off-peak Fridays’ on London’s transport network, aimed at bolstering the city’s economic recovery and encouraging more people back into the office.
The Mayor hopes the move, which forms part of broader efforts to revitalise Fridays in the capital, could transform the morning commute for Londoners and provide a much-needed boost to the city’s economy.
Th number of tube journeys taken on the Tube midweek has seen a significant uptick, reaching up to 85% of pre-pandemic levels, with weekend levels already back at 100%. Fridays continue to lag behind, with only around 73% the number of peopple who took Tube journeys pre-pandemic.
Recognising this trend, Mr. Khan has called for a three-month trial starting in March, during which all Tube and rail fares on Fridays will be off-peak.
By making transport more affordable and attractive on Fridays, the initiative seeks to encourage more people back onto public transport and into the city.
Mr. Khan said:
“London is the greatest city in the world. From the bustling office districts to its rich offering of bars, restaurants, galleries and theatres, I want everyone to be able to make the most all week of living or working in London.
“I’m doing all I can to support Londoners with 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 even more. 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.”