Sadiq Khan has warned TfL fare prices may rise by 10 per cent next year due to bail out amid a cost of living crisis.
Speaking at the London Assembly on Thursday, the mayor said the capital’s transport network may be forced to raise fares again in line with inflation as part of the Government’s bail out.
He said: “For my first five years as mayor when the Government didn’t attempt to micromanage TfL, we froze fares. My concern is what happens this September when inflation could be at eight, nine or ten per cent.
“If the Government requires next year to have RPI plus one, that’s a nine or 10 per cent fare increase.”
Transport for London agreed to the £1.08billion package in June last year after its finances were crippled due to a drop in passenger numbers as a result of the Covid pandemic.
Within the agreement, TfL promised to increase fare prices in line with the retail price index (RPI) plus an additional one per cent.
As of April, the RPI figures rose to 7.8 per cent but may rise to 9.8 towards the end of the year according to Statista.
The funding scheme was extended to June 24 in February for a further £200million in Government cash in order to keep services going but preceeded a fare increase of 4.8 per cent on March 1.
That fare price was the highest enacted on TfL since 2021.
Mr Khan said: “If fares rise again in January on levels that the Government may want us to do so, I worry Londoners will not be able to afford public transport.”
Commenting on the warning, Lib Dem assembly member Caroline Pidgeon told the Standard: “A 10 per cent rises in fares at a time of a national cost of living crisis would be incredibly painful for many households. I am especially concerned about any rise in bus fares which would especially hit many people on low incomes.
“Last year the Government imposed fare rises on TfL services, which exceeded those of rail fares around the country. This can never happen again.
“We also need to revisit the overall formula of increasing fares with the current basis being just one month’s inflation rate. A temporary peak in inflation should not be a justification for a permanent and steep hike in fares.”
The expected fare price hike comes amid news that London Underground workers will stage a strike on June 21.
The strike comes ahead of further action on June 23 and 25 while a walk out of 4,000 of RMT members brought major disruption to the network on Monday.
A separate three-day walkout brought the Tube to a standstill at the start of March after more than 200 stations were closed.