Boris's U-Turn: Flexible Travel Cards to Go on Sale Next Year

By Chris Mills on at

Everyone's favourite floppy-haired mayor has promised a three-day travelcard for part-time workers and telecommuters starting in January next year, flip-flopping magnificently from a position he held just a few months ago.

Firm details for the card aren't announced yet, but will presumably allow three full non-consecutive days of travel, for significantly less than a currently weekly travelcard, and less than three times the currently daily cap. That will probably put the price at around £20 for a three-day Zone 1 travelcard (which would currently cost you about £25 for three one-day travelcards), or about £40 for a Zone 6 card (currently costing about £47).

More impressive than the price savings, though, is the speed with which Boris has changed his mind on flexible pricing.

Consider this quote, from about four months ago:

“I am not going to fool around and pretend to you that I am going to go off and ask TfL to look at [flexible travel cards] again. They have looked at it. They have concluded that it is not a sensible way forward.”

In a letter today, however:

“I’ll now be working hard over the rest of this year to ensure that my specific recommendations of a part-time Travelcard and a system of annual rebates for underused full-time Travelcards will be delivered. It will mean that people working three days a week will no longer have to pay for a full week’s travel. This is real progress.”

Despite the politics, though, flexible pricing is definitely a boon for those who cycle a few days a week, or work part-time or between a few offices. My concern, however, is that instituting a three-day pass now raises the spectre of raises to weekly tickets further down the line. [Evening Standard, Independent]