Thousands of unemployed Londoners to be helped back to work with extension of discount travel scheme
3rd April 2009: Unemployed Londoners in receipt of Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) or the new Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) can now benefit from half-price bus and tram travel, thanks to the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and Transport for London (TfL).
Eligible Londoners in receipt of the allowances can now get the same half priced travel concession that those on Income Support currently benefit from. The move, which is part of the Mayor’s Economic recovery Action Plan, is designed to help people back to work by making it easier to travel to interviews, and access libraries, job centres, and other amenities.
The extension means that around a further 150,000 Londoners should benefit from the scheme over the next 12 months. The Mayor is particularly concerned to help jobseekers through the current economic downturn. The discount will also help those who benefited from the previous Income Support discount scheme who have now been made ineligible by the changes to the benefits system that the Government has recently introduced.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: "Londoners deserve tremendous respect for the way that they are weathering the economic downturn. These are tough times for everyone and while world leaders use our great city to discuss this urgent matter; its impact on Londoners means that we must do all we can to help those who have unfortunately found themselves out of work through no fault of their own.
“At my request, TfL has introduced a number of targeted fares reductions and concessions to help those on low incomes who are feeling the impact most strongly. The extension of half price bus and tram travel to those on Job Seekers Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance will greatly assist unemployed Londoners travelling to job interviews and access job centres, libraries and other amenities that will help them find jobs.”
The Mayor has already introduced a number of targeted fares reductions and concessions, including reduced off-peak Tube fares, half price bus fares for Londoners on Income Support, free travel for war veterans and the 24 hour Freedom Pass on all TfL services.
The Mayor’s Economic Recovery Action Plan sets out a detailed £3bn package of measures to get London back on track and through the economic downturn, including helping businesses, helping Londoners, and investing in London’s infrastructure and skills base to support long-term growth.