Transport for London - A

Transport for London - A

Transport for London (TfL) is a local government body responsible for most of the transport network in London, United Kingdom.

TfL has responsibility for multiple rail networks including the London Underground and Docklands Light Railway, as well as London's buses, taxis, principal road routes, cycling provision, trams, and river services.

It does not control all National Rail services in London, although it is responsible for London Overground and Elizabeth line services. The underlying services are provided by a mixture of wholly owned subsidiary companies (principally London Underground), by private sector franchisees (the remaining rail services, trams and most buses) and by licensees (some buses, taxis and river services).

TfL was also responsible, jointly with the national Department for Transport (DfT), for commissioning the construction of the new Crossrail Project and is now responsible for franchising its operation as the Elizabeth line.

In 2019–20, TfL had a budget of £10.3 billion, 47% of which came from fares. The rest came from grants, mainly from the Greater London Authority (33%), borrowing (8%), congestion charging and other income (12%). Direct central government funding for operations ceased in 2018.

In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom, TfL sought urgent government support as fare revenues dropped 90%, and proposed near 40% cuts in capital expenditure.

Transport for London History

TfL was created in 2000 as part of the Greater London Authority (GLA) by the Greater London Authority Act 1999. It gained most of its functions from its predecessor London Regional Transport in 2000. The first Commissioner of TfL was Bob Kiley.

The first chair was then-Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, and the first deputy chair was Dave Wetzel. Livingstone and Wetzel remained in office until the election of Boris Johnson as Mayor in 2008. Johnson took over as chairman, and in February 2009 fellow-Conservative Daniel Moylan was appointed as his deputy.

TfL did not take over responsibility for the London Underground until 2003, after the controversial public-private partnership (PPP) contract for maintenance had been agreed. Management of the Public Carriage Office had previously been a function of the Metropolitan Police.

Transport for London Corporate Archives holds business records for TfL and its predecessor bodies and transport companies. Some early records are also held on behalf of TfL Corporate Archives at the London Metropolitan Archives.

After the bombings on the underground and bus systems on 7 July 2005, many staff were recognised in the 2006 New Year honours list for the work they did. They helped survivors out, removed bodies, and got the transport system up and running, to get the millions of commuters back out of London at the end of the workday.[a]

On 1 June 2008, the drinking of alcoholic beverages was banned on Tube and London Overground trains, buses, trams, Docklands Light Railway and all stations operated by TfL across London but not those operated by other rail companies.

Carrying open containers of alcohol was also banned on public transport operated by TfL. The then-Mayor of London Boris Johnson and TfL announced the ban with the intention of providing a safer and more pleasant experience for passengers. There were "Last Round on the Underground" parties on the night before the ban came into force.

Passengers refusing to observe the ban may be refused travel and asked to leave the premises. The GLA reported in 2011 that assaults on London Underground staff had fallen by 15% since the introduction of the ban.

TfL commissioned a survey in 2013 which showed that 15% of women using public transport in London had been the subject of some form of unwanted sexual behaviour but that 90% of incidents were not reported to the police. In an effort to reduce sexual offences and increase reporting, TfL—in conjunction with the British Transport Police, Metropolitan Police Service, and City of London Police—launched Project Guardian.

In 2014, Transport for London launched the 100 years of women in transport campaign in partnership with the Department for Transport, Crossrail, Network Rail,  the Women's Engineering Society and the Women's Transportation Seminar (WTS).

The programme was a celebration of the significant role that women had played in transport over the previous 100 years, following the centennial anniversary of the First World War, when 100,000 women entered the transport industry to take on the responsibilities held by men who enlisted for military service.

Transport for London COVID-19 Pandemic Impacts

In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom, TfL services were reduced. All Night Overground and Night Tube services, as well as all services on the Waterloo & City line, were suspended from 20 March, and 40 tube stations were closed on the same day. The Mayor of London and TfL urged people to only use public transport if absolutely essential, so that it could be used by critical workers.

The London Underground brought in new measures on 25 March to combat the spread of the virus, by slowing the flow of passengers onto platforms. Measures included the imposition of queuing at ticket gates and turning off some escalators. In April, TfL trialled changes encouraging passengers to board London buses by the middle doors to lessen the risks to drivers, after the deaths of 14 TfL workers including nine drivers.

This measure was extended to all routes on 20 April, and passengers were no longer required to pay, so that they did not need to use the card reader near the driver.

On 22 April, London mayor Sadiq Khan warned that TfL could run out of money to pay staff by the end of April unless the government stepped in.

Two days later, TfL announced it was furloughing around 7,000 employees, about a quarter of its staff, to help mitigate a 90% reduction in fare revenues. Since London entered lockdown on 23 March, Tube journeys had fallen by 95% and bus journeys by 85%, though TfL continued to operate limited services to allow "essential travel" for key workers.

Without government financial support for TfL, London Assembly members warned that Crossrail, the Northern line extension and other projects such as step-free schemes at tube stations could be delayed.

On 7 May, it was reported that TfL had requested £2 billion in state aid to keep services running until September 2020. On 12 May, TfL documents warned it expected to lose £4bn due to the pandemic and said it needed £3.2bn to balance a proposed emergency budget for 2021, having lost 90% of its overall income.

Without an agreement with the government, deputy mayor for transport Heidi Alexander said TfL might have to issue a Section 114 notice - the equivalent of a public body going bust. On 14 May, the UK Government agreed £1.6bn in emergency funding to keep Tube and bus services running until September - a bailout condemned as "a sticking plaster" by Khan who called for agreement on a new longer-term funding model.

On 1 June 2020, TfL released details of its emergency budget for 2020–2021, revealing it planned to reduce capital investment by 39% from £1.3bn to £808m, and to cut maintenance and renewal spending by 38% to £201m.

Transport for London Overview

Transport for London Abbreviation: TfL
Transport for London Formation: 3 July 2000, 23 years ago
(Greater London Authority Act 1999)

Transport for London Type: Statutory corporation
Transport for London Legal Status: Executive agency within GLA
Transport for London Purpose: Transport authority
Transport for London Headquarters:
5 Endeavour Square
E20 1JN

Transport for London Region Served: London, England
Transport for London Chairman: Mayor of London
(Sadiq Khan)
Transport for London Commissioner: Andy Lord
Transport for London Main Organisations:
London Underground
Elizabeth line
London Buses
London Rail
London Streets

London Overground
Transport for London Parent Organisation: Greater London Authority (GLA)
Transport for London Budget: 2019–20: £10.3 billion (47% of this from fares)
Transport for London Staff: 28,000


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