TfL's Friday off-peak Tube and bus fares trial ends this week

Dominic Lipinski/PA (PA Wire)
Dominic Lipinski/PA (PA Wire)

Transport for London is reminding Londoners that its Friday off-peak fare trial ends this week.

The three-month trial was aimed at bolstering London’s economy by encouraging Londoners back into offices and onto public transport on Friday - a day which has, since the pandemic, been considerably quieter than other weekdays.

TfL data from February and the start of March show that Tube travel was at 86 per cent of pre-pandemic levels on Thursdays, but 78 per cent on Fridays.

Since the mayor’s £24m initiative was introduced on March 8, millions of commuters across the capital have received discounts on tube fares.

Peak fares ordinarily apply between 6.30am and 9.30am and between 4pm and 7pm on both TfL and National Rail services.

The trial has also seen TfL partner with online restaurant-reservation service company OpenTable to offer dining deals at restaurants and other attractions across the capital on Friday’s.

Of the possibility for future innovative approaches to fares, Alex Williams, Chief Customer and Strategy Officer at TfL said: “London is an amazing place to live, work and socialise, and this trial has looked to make it easier for people to travel into and around London on a Friday.

“Analysis of the trial is ongoing, and will help us to better understand how targeted initiatives like this could help encourage more people back onto public transport and into the London on a day that is currently quieter than midweek days.”

At the end of the trial, TfL will collate data on public transport ridership, and use research into customer perceptions to evaluate the cumulative impact of implementing off-peak fares. The trial is thought to have also helped holders of 60+ London Oyster photocards and Older Persons’ Freedom Passes to travel on TfL and National Rail services before 9am. Individuals with these passes have been able to travel all day for free on Fridays.