The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today announced that care leavers aged between 18 and 25, who live in London, will be able to apply to receive half price bus and tram travel from early 2024.
This decision will give more young people the helping hand they need to thrive at a crucial period in their lives.
Sadiq’s ‘fare deal for care leavers’ will directly support those who have left care after turning 18, and offer them more affordable travel options as they transition to independent living.
The offer will sit alongside other travel benefits provided by TfL such as the Job Seekers Allowance and 60+ concessions, and will help enable care leavers to make the most of the Mayor’s Hopper Fare, which allows unlimited bus and tram journeys within an hour for the price of a single journey.
Despite improvements over the last decade, London’s children in care still face many obstacles. Many care leavers remain vulnerable after leaving care, and the complex challenges they face mean that fewer care leavers go onto further training or university than those who haven’t lived in care.
Children who grow up in care are three times less likely to be in education, employment or training than their peers. Analysis by the Children’s Society has found that the costs – including travel costs – of remaining in education, or seeking a job or apprenticeship can be higher for care leavers, a problem this concession is designed to overcome.
Alongside this new discount City Hall continues to support those in care through a range of schemes. In 2018, the Mayor of London signed the GLA up to the Care Leaver Covenant which provides a framework for developing consistency, breadth and quality in the support offered to London’s care leavers.
Each London borough currently has a care leaver offer, but these are individual to each area and therefore the support offered varies. By adopting a common core offer across London, with cross border collaboration and multi-agency working, care leavers can receive better support in terms of access to health, education, transport, housing and mentoring.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “Leaving care can be very challenging or daunting for young adults who feel unprepared for the transition to independent living. Many care leavers lack the appropriate resources to continue training or gain meaningful employment once leaving care, which can, in turn, lead to both financial and emotional hardship.
“I am determined to improve the London-wide offer for care leavers, and our new ‘are deal for care-leavers’ will give these young people a helping hand to thrive in this next stage of their lives, building a better, fairer and more prosperous London for everyone.”
Alex Williams, Chief Customer and Strategy Officer at Transport for London said: “We are keen to ensure that fares on public transport remain as affordable as possible, while still ensuring TfL can continue to run clean, green and safe services and support London’s continued economic recovery. Alongside daily and weekly capping, and the Hopper fare, our wide range of concessions are a big part of our inclusive transport offer and we are delighted to be able to offer this new option from spring 2024 to help care leavers transition to independent living.