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 | 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


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