"If I were the sort of person who goes round spreading rumours, I might mention the fact that other journalists have been receiving briefings by the mayor's office today about a rise in public transport fares to be announced by TfL tomorrow. Good job I'm not that sort of person..."
We've got some of the most expensive public transport in the world, particularly on the London Underground, yet it took me about an hour and half to get to work this morning on the Tube, with an extraordinary amount of signal failures, delays, broken escalators and over crowding at every turn.
As Dave said in the title of his post, "Fare Rises Soon To Be Announced? Surely Not!". None of us are surprised but what will be interesting will be the spin that Boris puts on it. It's his first fare rise after all.
Tory Troll said in the comments "I have been waiting for this one. Fuel costs are up. Tube contracts are up and the costs of the CC consultation, Routemaster design, and ditching of the Venezuela deal and £25 charge have made this inevitable."
He's placing bets on the % increase we actually get though and reckons 10% minimum increase. I reckon he's right, it'll be about double the rate of inflation, just cos it's a nice round figure. You might want to hazard a guess yourself alternatively just wait for the official announcement tomorrow.
Update - 4th September - The Guardian and the FT have started to report on the price rise. Ah here's the spin Ken Livingstone gets the blame for the rise in fares. Boris said that Ken Livingstone left a £84m ($148m) shortfall in finances due to his price freeze earlier this year and the actual cut in some bus fares.
"Kulveer Ranger, Mr Johnson's transport adviser, on Wednesday refused to say precisely what fare rises there would be and how they would be distributed. There would, he said, be some extension of concessionary fares for the worst-off, new concessions for war veterans and greater differentiation of off-peak and peak-time fares to shift journeys to quieter times." said the FT.
Even though the actual rise has not been announced yet, The Guardian report that "adult fares will have to rise at least 1% above inflation, equivalent to an increase of 6%. That would mean a single peak-time Tube fare in central London would rise from £6.30 to about £6.70, while an adult bus fare would rise from 90p to 95p. Discounted fares for elderly and disabled people will remain."
Apparently we'll find out the exact fare rise after 10am today.
Update - OK the speculating can end now, the BBC News have published the exact rises.
Single bus fare paid with an Oyster card will increase from 90p to £1
A one day bus and tram pass will rise from £3 to £3.30
A weekly bus pass will go up from £13 to £13.80
The £4 adult cash fare in Zone One of the Tube will be frozen
Fares in other zones will go up from £3 to £3.20.
The minimum adult cash fare on the Docklands Light Railway rises from £1.50 to £1.60
Boris said "Some of us will pay a little more but I have ensured fares will remain affordable, especially for people who rely on public transport most, including the elderly, disabled veterans and those on lower incomes. I have been left to tackle the unfunded legacy of Livingstone's largesse.
"Put simply, the previous mayor's cynical and irresponsible pre-election fares freeze and support for unfunded transport schemes is unsustainable and has produced a gap that has to be plugged."
Ken's response "Londoners are beginning to learn the high cost of Boris Johnson.
"He promised to save Londoners money but instead, after just a few months in office, he is pushing up fares above inflation to pay for his own incredible waste of Londoners' money."