Boris Johnson has decided not to continue funding half-price bus and tram fares for people on income support, it was revealed today.
In response to a written question from Assembly Member Darren Johnson, Boris wrote that:
'Many Londoners face growing economic difficulties at the moment but I believe this can best be addressed by keeping the overall level of bus fares as low as possible.'
The Mayor argued that the current scheme was inefficient as only 20% of people on income support claim for the discount.
But rather than attempt to increase the take-up he has instead decided to scrap the scheme altogether. This means by the mayor's own figures, that around 75,000 of the poorest Londoners will now have to pay double for their bus and tram fares.
Last month Boris wrote in response to a question by Dave Hill that officials from Transport for London were considering 'alternative ways of providing this support.'
However, today he made it clear that there would be no alternative funding for the original scheme. He instead suggested that 'more suitable' forms of concessions may be found by TfL in the future.
Nevertheless the emphasis on overall fare levels suggests that any future discount, if it comes, will not amount to the half-price fares that are currently available.
So whatever alternative support may or may not be given in the future, it is now clear that the scheme to give half price fares for people on income support will be coming to an end this year.