Posted 30th November 2023 | 1 Comment

Underground passenger figures continue to recover

Transport for London says the number of passengers travelling on the Underground was 4.05 million on 23 November, which is the largest daily total recorded since the start of Covid restrictions in March 2020.

The Elizabeth Line, which is counted separately, carried more than 766,000 passengers on 9 November, setting a new record for the route. More than 720,000 daily journeys are made on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays each week, following the trend since Covid for commuting to be more concentrated over three days.

TfL added that midweek ridership on the Underground is now regularly above 3.7 million daily, and up by around 6.5 per cent compared to last year. In spite of the change in commuting habits, ridership on Mondays and Fridays is also regularly above 3 million journeys a day, topping 3.6 million on recent Fridays because of additional leisure travellers.

Several Underground stations in central London are already close to or exceeding the passenger volumes seen before the pandemic. Ridership on the Night Tube and Night Overground services is also up, with around 60,000 journeys on a Friday night between 00.30 and 04.30, and close to 70,000 journeys on a Saturday night between 00.30 and 04.30. London Overground and the Docklands Light Railway are also increasingly popular.

The increases have strengthened TfL’s case for a long term budget settlement with the Government. One proposed economy was the scrapping of Day Travelcards, but this was abandoned when TfL reached a new agreement with the Rail Delivery Group’s London area National Rail operators and also the Department for Transport.

However, TfL said there was no commitment in the Autumn Statement to provide longer-term support, and that the situation is ‘now urgent’ if TfL is going to be able to continue to provide reliable services that can support the most recent growth.

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: ‘It’s fantastic to see London truly roaring back post-pandemic - this impressive boost in ridership will support London’s and indeed the whole UK’s wider economy recovery. There’s no doubt that as Christmas approaches the appeal of London’s world-leading shops, restaurants and other venues is as strong as ever.

‘This data shows that people are returning to their pre-pandemic travel patterns. We can’t rest on our laurels. In order to further support this boom and deliver the world class transport system London deserves we need sustained capital investment over multiple years with support from central Government. This will help us support jobs and economic growth in London and across the country, and build a better, more prosperous London for all.’

Reader Comments:

Views expressed in submitted comments are that of the author, and not necessarily shared by Railnews.

  • Chris Jones-Bridger, Buckley Flintshire

    A very promising set of figures. More so for the traditional Underground network because Elizabeth Line passengers are being accounted for separately & since opening has had an effect of abstracting journeys off the traditional network as passengers have adjusted to the new journey opportunities.

    Of course this also has to be seen in the balance between revenue & cost but let us hope that post covid stability is being achieved & that TfL can regain freedom from undue DfT oversight both in managing day to day operations & also planning and implementing it's capital investment programmes.