Back in August I did a piece for ConservativeHome on TfL’s finances. At the time some people tried to rubbish what I was saying. It seems that the Mayor agrees with me though. In a recent answer to a question from Assembly Member Andrew Pelling the Mayor said:
TfL’s Annual Report for 2006/07 shows Tube gross operating costs as £2,087.2m and gross revenue as £1,534.3m. There were 1,014m Tube passenger journeys. That gives an average cost per journey of 205.8p against fare revenue of 151.3p, with a difference of 54.5p.
For buses, gross operating costs were reported as £1643.4m and gross revenue £1026.8m, with 1,880m journeys. Hence the average cost per bus journey was 87.4p, with 54.6p raised from fares, leaving a difference of 32.8p.
My way of expressing the same facts was to say that it costs us 55p every time someone gets on a tube and 33p every time someone gets on a bus. The idea that the Mayor can afford to cut bus fares to 90p and offer half price bus rides to low income people is ridiculous. They may be admirable things to do but they are unaffordable and unfinanced. The only way money can be made available for these initiatives is to reduce investment or put up other fares. No doubt the Mayor will burn TfL’s reserves and/or delay capital spending this year to pay for these rises and then hope to put up fares again if he gets re-elected.