New Year’s Day Night Tube service is not free this year due to TFL funding crisis
This marks the second year in a row where the Tube is not free on New Year’s Eve
The upcoming New Year’s Eve Night Tube service will no longer be free this year due to severe budget issues and the pandemic’s toll on Transport for London (TfL).
Until 2019, the entire transport network – including the Tube, buses, overground services, and the DLR – offered passengers free rides from 11:45 pm on December 31 until 4:30 am on January 1.
It has been a tradition since 2000, with costs often being covered by sponsors. But this year, TfL’s spokesperson said in a statement that they would have to charge for journeys due to the pandemic’s “devastating impact” on their finances.
The Tube will still operate throughout the night, but passengers will be expected to pay for their trips.
Being the second year in which free New Year’s Day Night Tube has been scrapped, this hints at a larger funding crisis.
According to Sadiq Khan, 100 bus routes and one Tube line may have to be closed for good. He elaborated on BBC 5 Live that “closing a Tube line will make the savings, the cuts, that we need to introduce if we are going to balance our books.” The Tube lines most at risk are Bakerloo and Jubilee, but there have also been suggestions for the Metropolitan and Hammersmith and City lines to be axed.
And although TfL services will run into New Year’s, this festive season will still be impacted by planned closures and strikes. For example, Tube services will end at 10 pm and bus services at 11:30 pm on Christmas Eve, and there will be no TfL services at all over Christmas Day. There are also planned works on several Tube lines and plans for further TfL strikes, so keep monitoring the TfL website to get ahead of a huge cab fare.