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Started by TinyMcOtter on Feb 13, 2018 12:45:24 AM
Transport for London (TfL) faces nearly £1bn deficit following a fall in the number of journeys

Apparently fewer passengers is leading the London transport authority to ditch some of its tube upgrade plans.

The capital’s transport authority has shelved some tube upgrade plans, with its finances under pressure since the axing of a grant from the UK government worth £700m a year.

Unions urged the government to immediately reinstate the grant, warning of a “funding crisis” that “could have devastating consequences for safety and services”.

The financial position has led to questions over the freeze on fares imposed by the mayor, Sadiq Khan, and whether provision will be affected, with about 7% of bus services earmarked to go.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/feb/12/fall-in-journeys-leaves-tfl-facing-near-1bn-deficit-next-year

How should this be seen within the context of the privatisation versus public services debate?

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TinyMcOtter - 13 Feb 2018 00:59:01 (#1 of 47)

Is it time to bring back Fare's Fare?

thismorning - 13 Feb 2018 01:08:42 (#2 of 47)

Perhaps Mr. Khan could write a check to cover the loss in revenue. Sure and he is fair and generous man.

HarveyRabbit - 13 Feb 2018 04:55:26 (#3 of 47)

How should this be seen within the context of the privatisation versus public services debate?

For public transport, the net income from fares is very sensitive to the state of the general economy. GDP running below what was forecast will leave these kind of holes in the budget.

TfL has reserves from the years when revenue ran ahead of what was forecast, so just one years unexpectedly low income isn't really a crisis. It would be a crisis if it continued year on year and nothing was done to trim back costs or delay investment.

A private operator, running the services for a fixed price or for payment of a fixed premium would be in essentially the same situation as TfL and have to make the same choices. Depending how the contract with the private operator is written, if GDP looks set to grow at lower than forecast over a number of years, the private operator might decide to cut their losses and simply hand back the keys or default on their payments, rather than ride out those loss making years.

That is essentially what has just happened, yet again, with the East Coast passenger rail franchise. Rail franchises aren't exactly a one way bet on the rate of GDP growth, but the way they are tendered and bid for does mean the bidders have to guess/gamble how the general economy will perform. It works well for the DfT when the economy is growing strongly, but when growth slackens, the operators start making losses and ultimately some will bail or fail.

Snarlygog - 13 Feb 2018 06:14:27 (#4 of 47)

Bring back drinking on the Tube.

Tenesmus - 13 Feb 2018 07:56:45 (#5 of 47)

They could have Tube parties where you hire a train for the evening going round and round and pressing up against people "accidentally" won't be so frowned upon.

xDiggy - 13 Feb 2018 08:13:04 (#6 of 47)

Is it time to bring back Fare's Fare?

Are you happy for the taxpayers of the rest of the UK to contribute a giant subsidy to London transport?

TfL fares are actually very reasonable. Buses in London are cheaper than they are in Stoke. It costs me £180 a month for a Zone 4 travelcard for the tube, which sounds a lot but compare to the cost of running a car.

HouseOfLametta - 13 Feb 2018 08:14:12 (#7 of 47)

Oooookaaaay.

Ginmonkey - 13 Feb 2018 08:14:48 (#8 of 47)

Yeah I agree. Public transport in London is so good I do not own a car - I pay about £100 a month for all of my travel around London - leisure and work. That's pretty decent.

xDiggy - 13 Feb 2018 08:15:07 (#9 of 47)

When I got my first job in 1998 I used to have to buy a tank of petrol every week, which even then was about £30.

darkhorse - 13 Feb 2018 08:16:08 (#10 of 47)

Still is, if you have a very small car.

xDiggy - 13 Feb 2018 08:16:44 (#11 of 47)

This was a 1989 Renault 19, so not exactly fuel efficient.

HouseOfLametta - 13 Feb 2018 08:17:08 (#12 of 47)

Very small. And full of standing strangers.

Ricolas - 13 Feb 2018 08:48:52 (#13 of 47)

As has been pointed out elsewhere, if the fares (the few he could freeze) were not held, numbers might have dropped me.

Also, is it an actual drop in absolute numbers, or a lower rise than projected? I know that buses are down in total...

RosyLovelady - 13 Feb 2018 08:54:15 (#14 of 47)

Sell it off in bits to G4S, Crapita, and some posh boy who wants a big train set. With the benevolent oversight of one of more big accountancy firms, nothing could possibly go wrong.

Ginmonkey - 13 Feb 2018 08:56:19 (#15 of 47)

Ha ha you don't think that TfL is not infested with the likes of Deloitte already?

RosyLovelady - 13 Feb 2018 09:26:56 (#16 of 47)

Are you predicting another accountancy scandal?

RosyLovelady - 13 Feb 2018 09:28:35 (#17 of 47)

Anyway, we had another thread on this topic and it was clear that the rowdy element had deserted public transport, and thereby made it it intolerable for the rest of the travelling public.

quattrobhoy - 13 Feb 2018 09:46:27 (#18 of 47)

Bring back drinking on the Tube.

People still do. Boris introduced an unenforceable ban which needs significant numbers of staff to remove drinks from passengers, who would be unwilling to surrender them. I’ve seen a fair bit of drinking (on all modes of TfL transport) but no enforcement.

RosyLovelady - 13 Feb 2018 09:49:20 (#19 of 47)

People drinking on the underground are surely much less of a problem than people getting tanked up beforehand, and then getting on the underground.

Delighted_User - 13 Feb 2018 09:54:48 (#20 of 47)

Yes, but it's easier to get ban the former group. Besides, they may spill their drinks.

I was once on the U-Bahn in Germany, where there was a rowdy group of drunks having difficulty boarding. Suddenly a voice roared out from the public address system: "Be sober when getting onto the train!" It didn't work.

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