August 13, 2020

Commuters face a 1% fare rise amid calls to return to the office

Rail fares are expected to rise again on the 2nd January 2021 by 1% - the new fare rise announcement, expected in the next few days, comes after a 2.7% increase in January. Over the last 10 years the cumulative fare increase has been 39%. This expected fare rise comes amid calls from the Government for workers to return to the office, in many cases on reduced services.

All regulated fares will increase, including all weekly, monthly and annual season tickets purchased by commuters in the UK. London commuters who hit the weekly cap on contactless or purchase season tickets will also see the same fare rise as the rest of the country. TfL has announced that it will be increasing fares on its network by 1% above inflation, in line with terms agreed as part of its £1.6bn emergency funding package.

For a rail commuter travelling from Manchester to London on an annual season ticket, a fare-rise of 1% represents a substantial increase of £159. Even a commuter on a shorter commute from Reading to London will have to pay an extra £47 come January 2nd.  

The prohibitive upfront cost of many annual season tickets means that most commuters rely on monthly and weekly season tickets, contactless or pay-as-you-go. As a result, they miss out on the up-to 30% savings an annual ticket offers over a year of use. With fare rises and the best value ticket out of reach, it’s little wonder many commuters will now unfortunately spend more than 10% of their income on travelling to work. By disrupting the current transport industry, Commuter Club, a London UK fin-tech start-up wants to bring a stop to commuters’ losing battle with expensive, increasing rail fares and unreliable journeys.

Our CEO, Irina Iovita, said: “We have fought for the commuter’s cause since 2014 and will continue to do so. Our pay-monthly annual ticket the everyday commuters lock in fair prices for 12 months and prevents them from paying thousands of pounds upfront. Particularly at this time during the pandemic we believe everyone has the right to a better and cheaper commute and we’re proud to have helped over 20,000 commuters save more than £16m on our platform.

As behaviours change in the wake of the pandemic, we believe the Government should prioritise the introduction of flexible season tickets so that the many new flexible and part-time workers have fair access to good value fares.”