Questions regarding the decrease of the Hopper Fare time limit from 70 minutes to 62 minutes

Request ID: FOI-0746-2122
Date published: 21 July 2021

You asked

This is a Freedom Of Information Act request please. I understand that earlier this year (at the same time you increased the bus fare from £1.50 to £1.55) you have reduced the hopper fare time limit from 70 minutes to 62 minutes. So i have some questions about this reduction of time that is allowed on the hopper fare. 1. Why did TFL reduce the hopper fare from 70 minutes to 62 minutes? 2. How much money per year does TFL estimate they will save by reducing the hopper fare from 70 minutes to 62 minutes? 3. Why was there zero publicity anywhere informing passengers about the reduction of the hopper fare from 70 minutes to 62 minutes? 4. Before the change did TFL consult any passengers or anyone else regarding the hopper fare from 70 minutes to 62 minutes and if so can you please provide details of this? 5. How many complaints has TFL received so far in regards to the reduction of the hopper fare from 70 minutes to 62 minutes? Thank you and i look forward to your reply regarding my questions.

We answered

Our ref: FOI-0746-2122/GH

Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 10 July 2021 asking for information about Hopper fares.

Your request has been considered under the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and our information access policy. I can confirm that we do hold the information you require.

1. Why did TFL reduce the hopper fare from 70 minutes to 62 minutes?
When using pay as you go, the Hopper fare provides unlimited travel on TfL buses and trams within one hour of first touching in.  At the time the Hopper fare was introduced in 2016, an additional 10 minute buffer was applied in the ticketing system to allay concerns over potential inaccuracy and synchronisation of bus reader clocks. However, no such issues have arisen. A decision was made to reduce the buffer time to two minutes, which allows for the average amount of excess time a customer might wait for a bus.

2. How much money per year does TFL estimate they will save by reducing the hopper fare from 70 minutes to 62 minutes?
Estimated annual revenue, based on pre-COVID figures, is around £1.4m.

3. Why was there zero publicity anywhere informing passengers about the reduction of the hopper fare from 70 minutes to 62 minutes?
Information on our website and advertisements on our network have always stated that the Hopper fare is valid for one hour and this continues to be the case.  

4. Before the change did TFL consult any passengers or anyone else regarding the hopper fare from 70 minutes to 62 minutes and if so can you please provide details of this?
The advertised Hopper fare time has not changed therefore consultation was not deemed to be required.

5. How many complaints has TFL received so far in regards to the reduction of the hopper fare from 70 minutes to 62 minutes?
Since the change was implemented on 1 March 2021, we have recorded two complaints.

If this is not the information you are looking for please do not hesitate to contact me.

If you are not satisfied with this response please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal.

Yours sincerely

Graham Hurt
FOI Case Officer
FOI Case Management Team
General Counsel
Transport for London
 

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