London’s proposed Hopper fare is to become operational on 12 September. Expected to make using the bus in the capital cheaper and more convenient, it will mean an estimated 30m bus journeys currently costing £1.50 will now become free every year. It will allow passengers to change onto another bus or tram for free within one hour of touching in at the start of their journey. Anyone who uses ‘pay as you go’ with Oyster or contactless payment cards will automatically benefit from it. The fare will also be given to passengers switching from bus to tram, tram to bus or tram to tram within an hour as well. Hopper is thought to particularly benefit Londoners on lower incomes who often rely on the bus network.
TfL is now working on delivering unlimited bus and tram transfers within one hour. It hopes to have this in place by 2018 as it is not currently possible due to limits with the existing technology. In addition to this, from the same year, passengers who travel on a Tube or train between their two or more bus or tram journeys will also be eligible for the fare. Hopper will also apply to customers who pay discounted pay as you go fares (Bus & Tram Discount, Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount, Young Visitor discount and some Zip Oyster photocards).
Using the Hopper fare, passengers could make extended journeys across London for just £1.50 for a standard adult fare if the second journey begins within an hour.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said, ‘From my first week as Mayor, I was determined to get on with the job of cutting the cost of transport in London. I’m delighted to announce that from next Monday, the Hopper ticket will allow Londoners to change buses for free within an hour, cutting travel costs for millions of bus users. 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.’