London

Free second ride for London bus passengers

London bus Image copyright AP
Image caption Passengers will have to use a second bus within 60 minutes of boarding their first to take advantage of the Hopper fare

Bus passengers in London will be able to make a second journey for free under a new system being launched by the capital's mayor.

Sadiq Khan said from 12 September a free second journey can be made within an hour of a fare being paid.

His office estimates 30 million bus journeys, currently costing £1.50 per passenger, will be made this way.

An Oyster or contactless payment card will need to be used to take advantage of the Hopper fare.

London bus use in 2015

2.5bn

bus journeys made in the capital

600m

were pay as you go fares

  • 86m people estimated to have made more than one trip per hour

  • Fare rises increased eight years in a row under Boris Johnson

Associated Press

Passengers using the tram network around Croydon will also be eligible.

Mr Khan, whose father drove the number 44 bus in London, said the measure was a "key part" of his transport strategy and he hoped it would encourage more people to use public transport, cutting congestion and pollution levels in the city.

He said: "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.

"We must ensure that everyone can afford to travel around our city."

Transport for London (TfL) said by 2018 technology would be in place for people who travel on a Tube or train between their two bus or tram journeys to benefit from the change.

Liberal Democrat, Caroline Pidgeon, who has been campaigning for such a scheme for several years, said she would "welcome its final introduction" and said "imitation sometimes is the greatest form of flattery".

"I hope the mayor will now go further and also implement the policy of half price travel for journeys on the TfL rail network that start before 07:30," she said.

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