Mayoral Election Issues: Public Transport

Taxi Bus Tube-2-1London has 19,000 bus stops, 270 Underground stations, 83 Overground stations and 45 DLR stations.  So you’d think that public transport would be pretty convenient for people right across the city. Well, not necessarily.

For inner city dwellers public transport is the obvious way to get around.  The best access to public transport, measured by Transport for London[1], is for the residents of the City of London.  But all the outer London boroughs score below average.

Urbs has mapped the TfL index which measures access to public transport across the city to show the borough variations.  Predictably, those in central London have the easiest access.  The average score on the index for the whole of London is 3.8. In the City of London it is 7.9 and in Westminster 6.5.  The poorest scores are on the eastern and western edges of the capital, in Havering and Hillingdon.

Public Transport Map 1-2

The index measures the number, reliability, waiting times and walking distances for public transport in a neighbourhood.  It does not take account of the speed, ease of connections or number of people using a service.  The index uses 9 level of public transport access.  All the residents of the City of London are in the top 2 levels. More than half the residents of Hillingdon are in the bottom 3.  The worst place in Hillingdon for public transport access is Harefield ward, home to the eponymous hospital.  All 7,399 residents of the ward fall into the bottom 3 levels for public transport access.

The outer areas of London that have low scores for public transport access have the highest level of car ownership. There are 2.71 million cars and light goods vehicles in London[2].  Ownership is low in inner London areas and highest in Havering and Hillingdon with 49 cars per 100 people.

Public Transport Map 2-2

Car ownership has gone up a little in the past 12 months but the trend over the past 5 years has been down.  Over the same period there has been a big jump in the use of public transport, growing at twice the rate of population growth[3].  In the past 5 years the number of journeys taken on the Transport for London system of Tube, train, tram and bus has gone up by 14% while the population has risen by half that rate.

The number of people in inner London, who may be more reliant on public transport, has grown slightly faster than the rate for the capital as a whole, but the data underlines that the greater use of the transport network is linked not just to population but to economic factors.

The greatest growth in passenger numbers is on the Tube with a 24% increase in journeys between the financial year 2010/11 and the most recent 12 months. Bus journeys rose by 3% over the same period. But the bus is still the most popular form of transport. Latest data from TfL shows that in the last 12 months buses carried 2.4 billion people while 1.4 billion Tube journeys were recorded.

Public transport chart 3-2

So are the growing number of passengers taking growing numbers of journeys getting good value?  On price alone, the answer seems to be no.

The financial services firm UBS conducts an annual survey of prices and earnings across cities around the globe[4]. In its most recent survey it judged London to be the third most expensive for public transport out of 71 cities. Only Copenhagen and Stockholm were more expensive.

UBS focused on single ticket prices on a bus, tram or underground system travelling 10 stops or 10 kilometres for its comparison.

We have made a more like-for-like analysis looking at pricing on the underground systems in London, New York and Paris using multi-journey tickets that locals would use.

A journey on the Tube in zones 1-3 costs £2.80 on an Oyster/contactless fare. A subway journey in New York using its Metrocard costs $2.75 (£1.94) and a single journey on the Paris Metro costs €1.44 (£1.15) using a Carnet.

Zac Goldsmith has promised to increase the network capacity and deliver the Night Tube plan. Sadiq Khan has promised to freeze fares for four years.  Neither candidate is likely to argue that it is a simple either/or between better or cheaper, but the messages they have sent so far certainly sets up an interesting question about what really concerns Londoners most about their public transport system.

[1] http://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/public-transport-accessibility-levels

[2] http://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/licensed-vehicles-type-0

[3] http://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/public-transport-journeys-type-transport/resource/a7a69c22-150c-49f3-a1fd-90d4c24d98d4

[4] https://www.ubs.com/microsites/prices-earnings/open-data.html

This report was produced in association with London Live’s election special programme London Votes.

How London compares for the cost of public transport

Taxi Bus Tube-2-1London is the third most expensive for public transport out of 71 cities globally, according to a survey by the financial services company UBS.

As part of its annual prices and earnings survey UBS looked at the cost of getting around a city. In order to get a like-for-like comparison the company took the cost of a single ticket on an underground system, bus or tram for a journey of 10 kilometres or 10 stops.

Urbs Media looked at the data paying particular attention to 20 cities with strong connections to London or those in countries that had significant migrant populations living and working in the UK.  (See the table below).

Copenhagen is the most expensive for public transport, followed by its Swedish neighbour, Stockholm, and then London.  New York and Paris are both cheaper, but people who have moved to the capital from Warsaw, Bucharest, or New Delhi will notice a big price difference.  Kiev has the cheapest public transport of any city surveyed.

The results do not take account of the lower prices for season tickets, which would reduce the cost in London and in other cities too.  Nor does it factor in the quality or reliability of the service.

City Public Transport ($US) Taxi fare ($US)
Berlin 2.89 14.78
Bucharest 0.46 3.31
Copenhagen 4.63 15.43
Dublin 3.31 11.35
Geneva 3.12 20.58
Hong Kong 1.28 3.65
Johannesburg 0.79 6.34
Kiev 0.16 1.59
London 4.04 10.09
Madrid 1.98 11.35
New Delhi 0.37 1.54
New York 2.75 11.67
Oslo 3.80 32.10
Paris 1.95 12.43
Rome 1.62 14.24
Stockholm 4.17 18.56
Sydney 2.58 11.52
Toronto 2.43 15.88
Vilnius 0.90 4.52
Warsaw 0.91 5.64

London comes out a little better for the cost of taking a taxi. Looking at the price of a 5 kilometre cab ride within the city, New Delhi offers the cheapest option. London is more expensive than Hong Kong, Bucharest and Warsaw, but cheaper than Sydney, New York, Paris, Rome, Madrid or Berlin.  But none compare to the astronomical cost of a cab ride in Oslo – three times the price of London.

UBS conducted the survey in March and April 2015.  It has carried out the price and earning survey annually since 1971.

Source data

See also

London may win for iPhone earning power over Poland but cost of living much higher

The way we spend our cash – more rent, less alcohol, healthier eating

London expensive? Not compared to being an expat in Luanda

Poor sustainability and high cost public transport mar global cities win

All aboard! Big growth in public transport use in past 5 years

tube commutersThe public transport network across the capital is seeing a rise in passengers at twice the rate of population growth.  In the past 5 years the number of journeys taken on the Transport for London system of Tube, train, tram and bus has gone up by 14% while the population has risen by half that rate to break the 8.6 million mark.

The number of people in inner London, who may be more reliant on public transport,  has grown slightly faster than the rate for the capital as a whole, but the data underlines that the greater use of the transport network is linked not just to population but to economic factors.

The greatest growth in passenger numbers is on the Tube with 20% increase in journeys between the financial year 2010/11 and the most recent 12 months. Bus journeys rose by 5% rise over the same period. But the bus is still the most popular form of transport. Latest data from TfL shows that in the last 12 months buses carried 2.4 billion people while 1.3 billion Tube journeys were recorded.

TFL growth all

The Docklands Light Railway (DLR), London Overground trains and the trams service make up just 5% of the journeys over the 5 years. But the growth in the DLR over that period has been strong as an improving economy has brought more jobs and homes along its routes.

TFL growth DLR

The biggest growth is in London Overground, the orbital train network around the capital. Passenger journeys have increased by 81% over 5 years but this is not a like for like comparison as the network has expanded during the period. The link between Clapham Junction and Surrey Quays was opened at the end of 2012 and the network recently added more lines including Liverpool Street to Enfield, Cheshunt and Chingford.

The only mode of transport that has seen a decline is the tram. Passenger journeys are down in recent months, but this may be related to station development work at Wimbledon which means the service is currently not running to this main connection point with the train and Tube network.

Source data

See also

Central Line leads the lost hours league table of your Tube delays

London leads the way in declining car use but the East is bucking the trend

Thousands forced to stand as train overcrowding worsens

Crime down nearly a third in 5 years on buses, Tube and trains

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crime down nearly a third in 5 years on buses, Tube and trains

© Anizza | Dreamstime.com-2If you have been on a particularly rowdy or perhaps scary night bus journey you may find this hard to believe, but travelling on public transport in London has become much safer in the past 5 years.

Crime across the network, which includes buses, Underground, DLR, Overground and Tramlink, fell by 31% from March 2010 to March 2015. In the year to the end of March 28,154 crimes were recorded by the British Transport Police and the Metropolitan Police. The British Transport Police has responsibility for train and tram services, the Met looks after the buses.

Nearly all the offences took place on buses, Underground or DLR. There were 17,000 crimes on buses and arond 10,000 on the Tube and DLR. Figures for Underground and DLR are combined as they are policed by the same unit of the British Transport Police.   Bus crime alone fell by 31% in the period. Offences were down by 34% on the Tube and DLR.

Transport crime

Each day 24 million journeys are made across the London public transport network. The crime rate, as expressed by crimes per million passenger journeys has fallen across all modes of transport. On the buses there are 7.7 crimes per million journeys, on the tube and DLR it is 7.1, but the Overground service has the lowest level at 4.1 crimes per million journeys.

In September the Night Tube service will be introduced providing all night trains each Friday and Saturday night on the Jubilee and Victoria lines, and most of the Piccadilly and Northern lines. With more late night revelers in the transport system it is likely that the crime figures may rise again.

Source data

More crime news

Availability of public transport below average in all outer boroughs

 

Availability of public transport below average in all outer boroughs

buses

London has 19,000 bus stops, 270 Underground stations, 83 Overground stations and 45 DLR stations.  So you’d think that public transport would be pretty convenient for people right across the city. Well, not necessarily.

Urbs has mapped the Transport for London index which measures access to public transport across the city to show the borough variations.  Predictably, those in central London have the easiest access.  The average score on the index for the whole of London is 3.8.  In the City of London it is 7.9 and in Westminster 6.5. But all the outer London boroughs have below average scores with Hillingdon and Havering at the north eastern and western points of the capital with the poorest access.

public transport accessibility map

 

A comparison of the map with data on where new homes are being built in the capital (here on Urbs.London) shows that the boroughs with most housing development and potentially expanding populations, such as Newham and Croydon, have near average scores for access.

The index measures the number, reliability, waiting times and walking distances for public transport in a neighbourhood.  It does not take account of the speed, ease of connections or number of people using a servce.

Next time you are walking to a bus stop in anticipation of a long wait spare a thought for the people in the Kenley neighbourhood of Croydon.  They have the poorest score on the index at just 0.3.

Source data

See also

Traffic constant, profits up – a congestion charge story