London's Crossrail service, officially known now as the Elizabeth Line, is set to open later this year, and slowly we're getting a picture of what it will be like to travel on the brand new section of the Underground. We've seen the fancy new trains that will be in operation, and now TfL has confirmed how much it will cost to use. Spoiler: It's basically the same as the regular Tube, unless you're travelling to Heathrow.
Underground trip prices vary based on which part of London you're travelling too and from, but the priciest single journey for anyone with an Oyster or contactless card is £5.10 for a peak trip between Zone 1 and 6. The cheapest peak is within zone one at £2.40 a go, while the cheapest and most expensive off-peak journeys are £3.10 (Zone 1-6) and £1.50 (Zone 2-6) respectively. Trips within London are capped as well, with a £12.50 limit for adults travelling between Zones one and six (£10.40 off-peak).
So Crossrail won't be any more expensive, certainly not within the regular confines of London's current zoning system. Anyone under the age of 11, or over 60 will similarly be able to travel without having to pay. I emailed TfL to ask about pricing for the future trips that will go beyond London towards Reading, but apparently those won't be announced until that part of the service launches next December.
Heathrow is a different matter, with trips to the airport carrying a premium fare that varies depending on your origin station and what time of day you're arriving. Travelling from Zone 1 to Heathrow during peak hours will cost you £12.10, which is £7 more than taking the Piccadilly line. Going from Zone 2 will be £4.50 more than the Underground.
It's worth noting, however, that the journey to Heathrow on the tube is very long and very boring. It's 53 minutes between Piccadilly Circus and Terminal 5, and there are dozens of stops between them. There are far fewer stops along the Elizabeth line, which is only 25 minutes away from London Paddington. Paying the Crossrail fare is also far cheaper option than the £27 it takes to use to get the Heathrow Express from Paddington, even if it is 10 minutes longer.
Elizabeth Line trains will start travelling between Paddington and Heathrow in May of this year, with the Central London service opening in December. [Standard]