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£2 Bus fare cap extended in England to June

News tonight that the £2 cap on bus fares in England that was due to finish at the end of March has been extended to the end of June, for any direct journey no matter how long, so long as you don't have to change on route.

Posted by
113 posts

Given the recent service it wouldn't be worth using bus services if they cost anymore than £2!

Posted by
208 posts

Glad you brought this up because there are a lot of train/transit deals out there if you can find them. It is financially worth it to do some homework here: the people in charge of this sort of thing do not always advertise it widely. There are a lot of ways to make the UK more affordable for tourists, but nobody is going to make life easy for us!

The London TfL Hopper Fare: get on a bus, then transfer to train, tram or tube and go as far as you can for 1 hour, one price. Of course, you can do it in reverse, but the tube et al costs more than the bus. Theoretically, you can even get from Central London to Heathrow for less than 2 pounds. Practically, it depends on the connections and traffic.

Posted by
6052 posts

Unfortunately the Hopper Fare is only valid on the bus, it is not multi modal, but you can still get a very long way on it. It is always 2 Hopper fares into Central London by day, sadly with several connections.
Geoff Marshall has a good you tube video on the subject.

The longest bus ride you can do on a £1.75 single bus fare in London is well over 2 hours on the X26 from Heathrow to West Croydon. That is also the cheapest, if longest route from Heathrow to Gatwick, changing onto a train at East Croydon, taking around 3 hours for the journey.

At night when there is a direct and frequent night bus from Trafalgar Square, using a Senior Railcard discount on a Hopper Fare I can get from anywhere in Zone 1 to Heathrow for £1.25! Later this year I am actually scheduled to do that, for the first time. Speed is not of the essence on that journey!

It's also little known that it is a London bus fare of £1.75 from Heathrow to Slough (for Windsor) which avoids going into London to catch the Windsor train- a frequent bus which runs 20 hours a day.

Sorry to others if this response seems a bit nerdy.

Posted by
32944 posts

correct that the Hopper Fare is bus only.

Posted by
208 posts

If you take a tube et al BETWEEN bus trips, then Hopper Fare does not apply, correct. But it does seem to apply if you go BUS - TRAM/TUBE ET AL and tap out within an hour. Your journeys are recorded by TfL. This makes sense, because you can go all day on a bus if you want to for 1.65. Not having to tap out, means the Hopper Fare is irrelevant.

You are saying the TfL website is incorrect?

Posted by
6052 posts

Both Nigel and I were wrong, in that it does also include Tram Travel as well as buses.

But the TfL wording is maybe a bit confusing- it reads- "If you travel on Tube, DLR, London Overground, Elizabeth line, IFS Cloud Cable Car or River Bus services in between Hopper journeys, you'll be charged a standard fare. The Hopper fare will still apply to any further bus and tram journeys made within one hour of first touching in."

A "standard fare" is whatever the normal fare for that journey by tube etc would be.

So for instance-
If you did Heathrow to Hayes and Harlington on the bus, then Elizabeth Line to Paddington, then bus 205 Paddington to Whitechapel you would be charged the Bus Hopper Fare of £1.65 (even though the two bus journeys were divided by a train journey) + the Elizabeth Line fare of £3.50 (the normal or 'standard' Elizabeth Line fare for that journey). That should be what the TfL fare finder would show, although you would struggle to get it to show such a stupid journey when you could have just stayed on the Elizabeth line to Whitechapel for the same overall fare.

I had forgotten about the daily bus fare cap of £4.95. So you could go from Dorking (Surrrey) to Watford Junction (Hertfordshire) for £4.95 if you wanted by bus (taking countless hours), or Slough (Berkshire) to Lakeside Shopping Mall (near Grays, Essex) for £4.95- goodness knows how many changes and taking I would estimate 6 to 7 hours. Two idiotic extremes.

But it's not only this country that makes things hard for tourists. Rover fares in the United States (such as the London Travelcard) seem to be almost non-existent. Or they make then real hard to find if they do exist, so even good city transit systems become expensive in the US if you want to use them intensively.
Trying to get hold of transit schedules to do a multi operator journey in the United States (and understand them), even on the internet, you need a Masters degree in the subject. It makes the UK look easy.
Long distance Greyhound schedules just baffle me, and Amtrak no longer have any timetables, even on the website, where you can just read down a schedule.

Posted by
208 posts

The confusing bit with the Hopper, is that it implies you can go anywhere for 1.65, which is not the case if you start your journey on a tube or tram. No, certainly, yours is not the only country with confusing transit fees, but unfortunately, in an effort to make things a bit cheaper for locals, the people in charge make things very expensive for visitors. I just think it makes a trip to the UK even more interesting, myself. A bit like digging into family history: you never know what you will find!