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








Passenger data reveals busiest stations where Tube strike will hit hardest

TubeMillions of Londoners will be struggling to find an alternative route between home and work from tonight as another Tube strike closes the network for more than 24 hours, with no trains running from 6.30pm Wednesday and all of Thursday.

The strike is over payments for drivers to take on night shifts for the introduction of the Night Tube service at weekends from September.

Each day 4 million journeys are made on the Tube. There are 270 stations spread along the 400 kilometres of track. Urbs has been looking at data from Tfl on the use of the stations to see where the biggest impacts will be felt.

In 2014 there were 2.9 billion entries and exits across the Tube network. The busiest station is Oxford Circus with nearly 144,000 people entering the station and 157,000 exiting on the average weekday. Oxford Circus is one of 10 very high use stations that accounted for a quarter of all entries and exits on the network in 2014.

Most of the others are the capital’s main railway stations, with Bank and Canary Wharf serving the financial districts.

Tube busiest weekday

Almost 400 times as many people get on and off at Oxford Circus as at the quietest station on the Tube network, Roding Valley. London’s 3 quietest stations are at the eastern end of the Central Line. 4 others in the top 10 quietest are on the Metropolitan Line.

Tube quietest

A strike on the Tube on a weekday will obviously affect more people than a weekend as the network has 40% more passengers than on a Saturday and twice as many as on a Sunday. But the difference in weekday/weekend passengers is much more pronounced at some stations, showing the workplace focused and leisure focused areas of London.

The stations with the highest proportion of weekday usage are clustered around the city or serving commuters in the east. Some see 90% of their passengers on weekdays. They don’t include any of the main line stations that are among the busiest generally.

Tube weekday ratio

The stations with the highest proportion of weekend use are leisure-focused destinations in central London and all three stations at Heathrow

Tube weekend busy

Source data

See also

25% rise in TfL staff earning more than £100,000

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