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TfL Considering Free Travel Into London To Boost Public Transport Use

Fri, 4th Sep 2020 14:24

(Alliance News) - Transport bosses are considering offering Londoners a free trip into the capital in an attempt to stimulate the economy.

The First Ride Free scheme, deemed the public travel equivalent to the Eat Out to Help Out initiative rolled out nationwide during August, is being considered by Transport for London.

The Evening Standard said the scheme could offer free tickets for trains, buses and the Tube to members of the public who have not gone into central London since the coronavirus pandemic.

The transport network saw a huge drop in passenger numbers as members of the public were ordered to stay at home during the early stages of lockdown, although the relaxation of rules has since seen some return to the office and travel into the city on public transport.

A TfL spokesperson said: "This is one of a number of options that are being considered to help encourage people back into central London in the coming months.

"No final decisions have been made and any option would need to be delivered with Government support, and agreed with them as part of ongoing discussions about our finances.

"More customers are now returning to public transport and we are seeing steady growth every day.

"We are delivering a near-full Tube, bus and rail service and the network is cleaner than ever before."

Paul Scully, minister for London, said: "I'm looking at all options to show people rather than just tell them that there is a warm and very safe welcome waiting for them when they come back to the centre of our great city."

TfL said 630,000 passengers used the London Underground network on Friday from the start of service until 10am – 21% higher than during the same period last week, but still 69% lower than the same period last year.

There were 800,000 bus journeys – up 30% on last week, but down 51% on 2019.

Eat Out to Help Out was heralded as a success by Chancellor Rishi Sunak after Britons ate more than 100 million meals last month as part of the discount, with claims costing more than GBP500 million.

source: PA

Copyright 2020 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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