The overall number of passengers on the London Underground dropped nearly a quarter on Wednesday after new measures were introduced to discourage travelers.
From Tuesday to Wednesday (24 and 25 March) TfL contactless payment data showed that 24% less people traveled on the subway during the day.
This suggests that Londoners are listening to Sadiq Khan’s requests to avoid the Tube altogether as part of the #StayHomeSaveLive campaign.
He said: “Londoners, I can’t reiterate this strongly enough: unless you’re a key worker, please don’t use the London Underground for the foreseeable future.”
There are fears that if too many people continue to use the subway, more staff may fall ill and the service may stop, leaving many key workers such as NHS staff who are unable to work.
However, the morning rush hour trains were a little more empty today (March 26) with passengers down 13% over the same period yesterday.
While images of full pipes sparked anger this week, health secretary Matt Hancock has put pressure on TfL to increase the number of trains on the road.
The mayor said that this is simply not possible because a third of the staff is unavailable due to illness and social withdrawal measures.
London Underground CEO Andy Lord said today that “he simply isn’t able” to manage a full Tube service, giving a clear message to Londoners “don’t travel”.
He said: “About a third of our staff are ill or need to isolate themselves, so we simply cannot provide full service.”
He added: “Most people do their part and avoid travel, but more and more people have to stop traveling immediately to save lives.”
British transport police deployed 500 officers to patrol rail networks on Tuesday evening (March 24) while his deputy chief of police Sean O’Callaghan urged the public to “do the right thing”.
According to TfL, the number of passengers in London’s public transport decreased by 86% on Wednesday compared to the same day last year.
Between Tuesday and Wednesday this week (March 24 to 25), 100,000 fewer people used London buses and the London Underground.
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