Around 5,000 transport workers in the capital not directly employed by Transport for London will become eligible for free travel on public transport by next April to help them cope with the rising cost of living.
Sadiq Khan has asked TfL to extend this benefit – already available to the approximately 25,000 employees of London’s transport authority, bus company drivers and others – to cleaning, catering and security staff who work for companies that supply services to TfL.
The Greater London Authority rather than TfL itself will cover the cost of the Mayor’s initiative, which City Hall says will assist the lowest paid of transport network workers.
City Hall adds that Khan has also asked TfL to look into whether sick pay standards for the lowest paid could be improved and, next year, to examine whether its cleaning services could be brought in-house.
The Mayor is already pursuing a policy of ensuring that all who work for TfL, including those not employed by it directly, receive the London Living Wage, which last week was increased to £11.95 per hour.
Initiatives by the Mayor already underway in response to the rising cost of living in the capital have cost £80 million so far, including over £50 million through his warmer homes grants programme and energy advice services, and £20 million to assist private renters and rough sleepers. No figure has yet been released for the cost to the GLA of the free travel benefit extension, but is reported to be around £10 million to make up for lost fares.
Commenting on his latest initiative, Khan said “London’s transport workers, who did so much for us during the pandemic, continue to play an essential and much-valued role in keeping our city’s transport network safe and operating. I will continue to do everything I can to help Londoners with spiralling costs, including providing targeted support directly to those on lower incomes.”
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