Every Londoner must think about this at some point – probably during rush hour as they watch yet another jam-packed train open and shut its doors without any hope of squeezing in. More than a billion people travel by tube each year. What the hell is all that fare money being spent on?
Mark Evers, director of customer strategy at TfL, clears up matters. ‘Transport for London, which includes London Underground, doesn’t make a profit,’ he says. ‘We reinvest all our income in running and improving transport in London.’ He adds that for every pound the Underground receives, 68p is spent on the everyday running costs of the network (staff costs, electricity, cleaning up sick and so on). The remaining 32p is spent on modernising and expanding the network and making it more accessible for the capital’s growing population.
So, yes, the tube makes money – but not a profit. Got it?
Next question: why do Londoners walk so fast?