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TfL reports Londoners are slowly returning to public transport

Londoners are tentatively coming back to public transport, but the speed of their return is now slowing, a Transport for London (TfL) report shows. 

Combined Bus, Underground, DLR, Tram, Overground and TfL Rail Journeys in millions 2010-present

New data released by TfL shows that combined journey numbers across buses, Underground, DLR, tram, London Overground, and TfL Rail fell in April to the lowest figure since 2010, when records began.

April saw just 39.2 million journeys across these modes of transport, an 86% decrease from the previous year which saw 286.8 million journeys.

During the summer journey numbers have been creeping back up, but August’s 115 million is still significantly down on last year’s 281 million. 

Combined Bus, Underground, DLR, Tram, Overground, and TfL Rail Journeys in millions 2019-present

David, 25, from Croydon said that he won’t be increasing his use of public transport in the coming months, but it’s not public transport itself that’s keeping him away. 

He said: “I feel safe in my own actions, but I worry about other people’s behaviour.

“I’ve seen people get on trains without masks and not be challenged.

“I’m only going to use it at a minimum, where necessary.”

BUS BOUNCE BACK: The difference between bus and tub journeys is widening.

TfL confirmed that the vast majority of people on the transport network are wearing a face covering, reporting more than 90% compliance at rush hour.

Since 4 July TfL have carried out around 105,000 interventions for people breaking the face covering rules. 

Around 7,600 people were stopped from boarding, 1,800 were removed from services, and around 400 fixed penalty notices were issued. 

Emma Gibson, director of London TravelWatch thinks the increase in enforcement by TfL will be welcomed by most Londoners.

She said: “Our research shows that many Londoners are worried about their fellow passengers not wearing face coverings, and that affects their confidence about using the tube or bus.”

Overground, DLR, TfL Rail, and Tram Journeys in millions 2019-present

While the most recent journey figures are the highest numbers since lockdown rules began, the rate of passenger returns has decreased as many people continue to stay away or reduce their public transport use. 

The increase in the number of journeys from July to August is less than half of the increase from June to July. 

Buses seem to be bouncing back better than the Underground, with the difference between the number of bus and tube journeys widening during the pandemic. 

Bus, Underground, Overground, DLR, TfL Rail, and Tram Journeys in millions 2019-present

Buses also remain the main form of public transport that Londoners use, followed by the tube, London Overground, DLR, TfL Rail, and then tram.

Bus, Underground, Overground, DLR, TfL Rail, and Tram Journeys in millions 2010-present

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