THE price of a weekly bus and tram ticket will rise by 4.1 per cent in the new year. Single tram and bus fares are also set to increase by 3.6 per cent for those using Oyster cards. However, there's good news for tram users who prfer to pay by cash, as those fares are being frozen for the next 12 months. The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, announced the changes on Tuesday, arguing the freeze would help those "feeling the pinch". A pay-as-you-go (Oyster) single on a bus or tram will go up from £1.40 to £1.45 whereas the weekly bus and tram pass will rise from £19.60 to £20.40, in line with the price increase for national rail services. Those using a pay-as-you-go Oyster card to make several journeys each day will see the cap frozen at £4.40 while travellers using cash will also see their single fares frozen at the current level of £2.40. For those travelling from the Croydon area into London, the cost of a weekly Zone One to Six Travelcard will rise by 4.3 per cent from £55.60 to £58. Harriet Barker, who uses a weekly travel card, said the fare hikes were "really unfair". "People are losing their jobs in Croydon. The Home Office buildings are closing and Whitgift is being taken over. They built the trams to get people into the town centre and now they are more expensive with less reason to come here." Bukky Oluonye, who uses a pay-as-you-go Oyster, said it was "crazy". "Everything is going up like electricity and gas. How are we supposed to afford anything at the moment? "I feel fortunate because I have a job but what about all those who are unemployed and need to travel away from Croydon to find work?" Caroline Straker said she would save herself thousands of pounds by finding a job locally and using her car rather than public transport. "I'm one of the lucky ones with my own car but it's disgusting. The service hasn't even improved either, what are we paying for?" The average rise for all travel is 3.1 per cent, lower than the 4.1 per cent predicted. The mayor has said he has had to make £16 billion worth of efficiency savings to make up the difference by introducing contactless payment cards. The measure aims to save £80 million a year and will involve shutting down hundreds of ticket offices across London. It is the first time travel fares have not risen above inflation overall since Mr Johnson became mayor and is aimed to help part-time workers and those looking for jobs.
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