Latest look at passenger numbers on Tube, Bus, London Overground and more

One big surprise over the past year or two in London has been that passenger growth has slowed substantially. This has greatly harmed TfL finances who have had to content with £700 million in cuts from central Government made by George Osborne in 2015 but only now being introduced.

The fares freeze under mayor Sadiq Khan has exacerbated the issue according to London Tories, or helped arrest greater falls according to London Labour.

Whatever the case, finances are not great and bus cuts are now coming thick and fast.

The latest passenger figures are out and don’t show a big change in the picture though there is some variation between modes.


The latest period covered is 7th Jan to 3rd Feb 2018. Newly released figures show bus use increased slightly. It was 174.9 million this year verses 174.4 million last year.

For the previous month it was 144.8 m against 145.8 m the previous year.


The Underground saw a decent rise last month to the relief of TfL. Numbers rose from 101.9 million journeys the previous year to 105.5 million.

The previous month saw a drop however from 89 m to 87.8 m.


A drop was recorded from 9.6m last year to 9.3m this year. The previous month saw a drop from 7.6m to 7.4m.

London Overground

Numbers are static at 14.8 million versus the same last year. The previous month saw a drop from 12m last year to 11.6m.


A drop from 2.4m to 2.2m. The previous month was down from 2.1m to 1.9m.

Emirates Airline

What’s the point?

Turning point coming

So it seems the picture of stagnation continues with a rise in tube journeys a bright spot but it’s way too early to read much into it.

The DLR falling is concerning given the massive amount of new homes being built along side. Could it have reached its limit on some branches. TfL are now asking boroughs to not permit new housing in places like Lewisham as the network cannot accommodate more people in the peaks.

And it should be noted that despite no growth over the past year numbers are still far higher than just five years ago. The DLR saw 7.3 million journeys versus 9.3 million this year.

The tube has increased from 91.1 million to 105.5 m.

It’s really only buses that have gone nowhere in those five years.

Oh, go on then. The dangleway was at 0.07 this year v 0.08 last. It’s not becoming the solution to Jubilee Line crossings of the Thames anybody (nobody?) thought it may be.

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J Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

3 thoughts on “Latest look at passenger numbers on Tube, Bus, London Overground and more

  • It’s a funny one, actually. The 2 bus journeys for 1 has the negative effect. 2 x £1.50 was more expensive than a £2.40 (for example) journey, but now it safes you 90p – obviously TfL shot themselves in the foot

  • It’s becoming increasingly harder for me to get the 2 for 1 bus journeys. Today, it took over an hour to get from Paddington to New Cross Gate from where I have to continue my journey to Lewisham. I don’t travel every day since I no longer work, but I certainly don’t have the money for the faster and more expensive modes of transport. Roll on 60 when I can get the 60+ oystercard.

  • The bus cuts however, minor they are considered to be by Transport For London are having an affect on passengers. Buses are arriving full and you cannot always get on the bus leaving you waiting for the next bus which are now not has frequent so you have to wait even longer. Cuts to bus services serving the London Boroughs of Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich and Lewisham are particularly hard has these areas are largely not served by the London Underground so we have no real alternative to the bus which is the back bone of our public transport system. The London Undergronud is also more expensive than the bus and not suitable for more of the local journeys many people make by bus.


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