Transport for London (TfL) and mayor Sadiq Khan have confirmed the fares for the highly anticipated Elizabeth Line ahead of the £14.8bn project's launch in December.
TfL said that it will be charging the same prices on Elizabeth Line pay-as-you-go fares within zones one to six, as the rest of existing TfL services.
The Crossrail project will serve 41 stations and stretch across more than 60 miles from Reading and Heathrow in the west through tunnels in central London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. It will be known as the Elizabeth Line, when the tunnels under central London open.
It will run with the same pay-as-you go fares set by London mayor Khan, while Oyster and contactless payments will also be accepted on rail services between Heathrow and Paddington for the first time.
The mayor said:
The opening of the Elizabeth Line this year will transform travel across London, with new state-of-the-art trains transporting millions of people more quickly around the capital.
The cost of travelling on the Elizabeth Line in zones 1-6 will be the same price as a similar journey on the Tube – fulfilling my manifesto pledge to deliver truly world-class transport infrastructure which is also accessible and affordable for all Londoners.
From 20 May, the current Heathrow Connect service between terminals two, three, four and Paddington, will be transferred to TfL, where for the first time passengers will be able to use their Oyster cards and contactless payments all the way from Paddington to Heathrow. Fares will also be cheaper or in line with the current standard fares charged for Heathrow Connect.
The price of a journey from Heathrow to Ealing Broadway drops from the current £8 to peak-time price of £7.30 and off-peak time of £6.
Standard zonal fares will continue to apply for journeys between Paddington and Hayes & Harlington, with special single fares applying for journeys to and from Heathrow Airport.
How the Elizabeth Line fits in with the rest of the network:
(Click or tap to view full-sized version.)
Under the new system, Heathrow will be designated as zone six, meaning that pay-as-you-go passengers travelling to and from the airport from zone one to the outside zone will not pay more than the daily cap of £12.50.
Mike Brown, London’s transport commissioner, said:
From May customers travelling to Heathrow Airport from Paddington will be able to enjoy the convenience of using Oyster or contactless as they do across the rest of the TfL network, guaranteeing the cheapest fare.
Customers will also see staff at our stations at all times when trains are running to offer them assistance, and will benefit from our ‘turn-up-and-go’ service for disabled customers. All travel information will also be fully integrated with our other transport services.
Jace Tyrrell, chief executive of New West End Company, added:
New West End Company welcomes TfL’s decision to launch the service with lower fares and single ticketing system, enabling the West End to remain competitive and attractive with both visitors and employees.
Earlier this month Crossrail drew up a revised delivery schedule for the project after facing rising cost and schedule pressures, and disruption from this month's severe weather troubles.
The rejigged plans were developed as part of efforts to ensure it opens on time in December, which TfL is hoping to time with the pedestrianisation of Oxford Street. Last November, the mayor said the capital's busy shopping district will be pedestrianised this year to provide a traffic-free space in central London.