Subscriber Login

Data & Statistics

UK: Bus ridership and fleet trends in London [free access]

February 1, 2021

Between FY2010–11 and FY2019–20, bus ridership in London decreased at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 0.81 per cent. The decline can be attributed to the increase in the popularity of non-motorised transport, rising operational costs, and the subsequent decline in the frequency of public transit services and the adoption of shorter routes. Bus ridership was highest in FY2013–14 (2,384 million passengers).

 

During the same period, the bus fleet expanded at a CAGR of 0.14 per cent. The bus fleet was at a peak in FY2016–17 (10,190 buses). The increase in the size of the bus fleet can be attributed to the replacement of the old bus fleet with clean-energy buses.

 

The table below provides information about the annual bus ridership and the number of buses in London.

 

Table: Annual bus ridership and number of buses in London (FY2010–11–FY2019–20)

Financial year

Passengers (in million)

No. of buses

2010–11

2,269

9,170

2011–12

2,324

9,200

2012–13

2,315

9,090

2013–14

2,384

9,180

2014–15

2,364

9,580

2015–16

2,293

9,480

2016–17

2,240

10,190

2017–18

2,225

10,090

2018–19

2,198

9,720

2019–20

2,091

9,300

Source: Department for Transport (DfT), United Kingdom (UK)

 

Impact of COVID-19 pandemic

 

Between March and June 2020, bus ridership declined to zero due to the imposition of a lockdown. In subsequent months, ridership on buses started showing signs of recovery as the restrictions related to the lockdown eased. However, ridership again declined drastically in January 2021 due to the imposition of another lockdown. The figure below provides a snapshot of the changes in the estimated demand for services in the city.

 

Figure: Estimated change in bus ridership in London (March 2020–January 2021) (%)

 

 

Source: Department for Transport (DfT), United Kingdom (UK)