When the details for the January fares increases were published there was a lot of coverage about the average increase being about 1%. Obviously with the need to keep adult fares rounded to the nearest 10p there were always going to be some increases above that, with the zone 1 single rising 4.3% being the most notable. The fact that most other TfL single fares didn’t rise kept the average down.
There was, however, one aspect of the fares package that TfL kept very quiet about. Remember last spring when the abolition of off-peak caps in zones 1-6 was found to adversely affect people regularly travelling from zones 4-6? The response then was to re-introduce the previous off-peak caps (with a slight increase of course) and apply them to regular travellers*. Well, guess what? The reason TfL failed to mention the rises for these caps is because they are massive. £8.00 (zone 1-4) becomes £8.60, a 7.5% increase while £8.80 (zone 1-6) becomes £9.40, a 6.8% increase. Ouch! What’s worse is that many of the people relying on these refunds won’t actually realise that they’ve been cut until the first week of 2016 is processed, possibly next week or the week after.
There is also no mention of these caps for railcard discounted users so it’s not clear whether it’s been abolished already for them. What is clear is that they intend to get rid of the feature for everyone in as short a time as possible.
* Regular travellers are defined as those exceeding the off-peak caps on 2 days in any week, 4 days in any fortnight, or 8 days in any 4 week period. In each case a week is from Monday to Sunday.