Beginning of the end of WFH? Tube and Elizabeth line hit new post-pandemic passenger records

Boomtown London: commuters are clicking back into old habits (PA Archive)
Boomtown London: commuters are clicking back into old habits (PA Archive)

The number of passengers using the Tube on Mondays has hit a post-pandemic record, latest Government figures have revealed.

There were 2.79 million trips on the Underground on Monday this week, October 62 - equating to 72 per cent of “normal” travel levels, according to the Department for Transport.

This is the highest number since March 9, 2020, a fortnight before then Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the country into lockdown.

There were also more than five million bus journeys made on Monday – 80 per cent of normal.

Previous Mondays had seen Tube travel stuck at around two-thirds of pre-pandemic levels.

The latest figures may indicate a gradual return to workplaces in central London, though Wednesdays are busiest and the mid-week “Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday” phenomenon continues to be observed.

Last Thursday, September 22, saw 3.26m Tube journeys – the busiest day since the start of the pandemic, and 77 per cent of 2019 demand.

It also saw 276,000 journeys on the central section of the Elizabeth line, between Abbey Wood and Paddington – a new record. More than two million trips a week are now taking place on the £20bn line, generating a £20m fares bonus for Transport for London.

Weekend Tube travel is seeing demand closer to normal, with the number of journeys made last Saturday and Sunday equal to 92 per cent of 2019 levels.

National rail services on Monday were 80 per cent of normal though, with about 15 per cent fewer trains running, services will have been more crowded, especially at peak times.

Nick Dent, director of customer operations (London Underground) at TfL, said: “Ridership on our Tube, bus and rail services continues to grow and we are delighted to see more people using our services as they return to work following the summer break or visit London.

“Despite growing ridership, there is still some way to go to bring our overall fare revenues back to levels seen pre-pandemic. Public transport is the backbone of our economic recovery and we remain focused on operating a safe, clean and reliable service for our customers.”