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London bus use back to 40% of normal

Travel Demand

24 July 2020

Bus use in London has returned to about 40 per cent of normal and Tube use is about 20 per cent of normal, TfL said this week in a report about the impact of Covid-19. 

Andy Byford, TfL’s new commissioner, said about 96 per cent of normal bus mileage was now being operated and he expected the figure to reach 100 per cent by the end of August.  

“Bus demand is currently around 60 per cent lower than last year’s level, having increased from a low of around 85 per cent,” he said.

“We are running an almost normal Tube service at peak times on weekdays, frequently delivering approximately 95 per cent of services, and in some instances delivering a higher level of services than pre-pandemic.”

The Tube network saw a “notable increase” in customers on 4 and 5 July, when many shops re-opened, with demand returning to approximately a fifth of normal levels for the first time since 20 March. 

The Santander cycle scheme is proving popular. “The week between 25 and 31 May was the busiest week in London’s cycle hire scheme’s history, with 362,925 hires,” said Byford. “The full month of May saw 1,120,620 hires, recorded as the best May in the scheme’s ten-year history. As of 21 July, the previous seven days hires are now 16 per cent higher than the same seven days in the previous year.”

A further 1,700 Santander Cycles are being made available, taking the fleet  to more than 14,000. This is the largest single increase in bikes for the scheme since 2013.

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