Mayor celebrates launch of one-hour ‘Hopper’ bus fare in London

12 September 2016

Travelling on a bus in London is now cheaper and more convenient for millions of Londoners as Sadiq Khan today launched the beginning of the one-hour ‘Hopper’ fare.

The new fare means an estimated 30m bus journeys currently costing £1.50 now become free every year. It allows passengers to change onto another bus or tram for free within one hour of touching in at the start of their journey.

It will be automatically given to anyone who uses ‘pay as you go’ with Oyster or contactless payment cards.

The new fare will particularly benefit Londoners on lower incomes who often rely on the bus network to get around - it was welcomed today by London TravelWatch and the Campaign for Better Transport.

Using the ‘Hopper’ fare, passengers can now make extended journeys that include:

  • London Bridge to Croydon using the route 133 to Streatham and then changing at Streatham Hill station onto a 109 to West Croydon.
  • Victoria Station to Wembley stadium using the Route 16 to Edgware Road station and then changing onto a route 18 to Wembley Central station.
  • Mitcham Junction to Bromley using the Tram to East Croydon Tram Stop and then changing onto a route 119 to Bromley Town Centre.

TfL is now working on delivering unlimited bus and tram transfers within one hour, which is not currently possible due to limits with the existing technology. Plans are for TfL to deliver unlimited bus and tram journeys in an hour from 2018.

In addition to this, from 2018, passengers who travel on a Tube or train between their two or more bus or tram journeys will also be eligible for the Hopper fare.

Sadiq Khan said: “Today is a landmark day for transport in London, and I’m hugely proud that our new ‘Hopper’ fare will make bus travel cheaper for millions of Londoners travelling around our city. It wasn’t right that Londoners had to pay twice simply to change buses, and the ‘Hopper’ will make 30m journeys free every year. It will make a particular difference to low income families – many of whom still spend a large proportion of their wages on essential travel costs. 

“Alongside my commitment to freeze all TfL fares for the next four years, the new ‘Hopper’ fare is a key part of my plans to make London a more affordable place for everyone who lives and works here.”

London TravelWatch Chair, Stephen Locke commented: “Making bus travel more affordable will really help passengers, particularly people on lower incomes with long or complex journeys to work.

“The report, Living on the Edge, that we commissioned jointly with Trust for London and London Councils last year showed that the cost of public transport was a major factor which limited the type and location of employment that people living in outer London were likely to consider.

“We hope that for many people, the hopper fare will improve access to jobs in areas they may have previously found it too expensive to get to.”

Lianna Etkind, Public Transport Campaigner, Campaign for Better Transport commented: "More people may now use the bus than the car in London, and we hope the Hopper will make choosing the bus cheaper and easier for even more Londoners. With more green low emission buses on the roads, leaving the car behind and traveling by bus is a way for people to improve air quality and make this a healthier city for everyone".  

London’s Transport Commissioner, Mike Brown, said: “I’m delighted we have been able to deliver this key commitment to London by the Mayor swiftly, enabling us to better meet the needs of those Londoners who live or work in areas which aren’t as well served by Tube or rail services.”

Notes to editors


  • The ‘hopper’ will also be given to passengers switching from bus to tram, tram to bus or tram to tram within an hour.
  • The ‘Hopper’ fare will also apply to customers who pay discounted pay as you go fares (Bus & Tram Discount, Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount, Young Visitor discount and some Zip Oyster photocards).
  • Customers who travel on a Tube or train between their two bus or tram journeys will not currently be eligible for the Hopper fare. But from 2018, passengers who travel on a Tube or train between their two or more bus or tram journeys will also be eligible for the ‘Hopper’ fare.
  • The ‘Hopper’ fare will not be applied at the time of travel to journeys by Oyster customers exiting the Tram network at Wimbledon and subsequently catching a bus. Oyster customers who “miss out” in this way at Wimbledon will be sent automatic refunds.
  • The introduction of the ‘Hopper’ fare comes ahead of the Mayor’s previously announced four-year fares freeze on all TfL services. The fares freeze, which comes into force in January 2017, will put money back into the pockets of Londoners. An average household will save around £200 over the four years.
  • For example, regular users of the 7 Day Bus & Tram Pass will save around £400 over the four year term. In 2020, a bus journey will still cost £1.50 and a Tube journey from Finsbury Park to Oxford Circus will still cost £2.90 in the peak and £2.40 at all other times.

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