Boris Johnson has chosen a good day to bury bad news.
As news organisations were saturated with Barack Obama's re-election win, the Mayor of London issued a statement revealing the cost of using 'Boris Bikes' will double from next year, while bus and Tube fares will rise at an above-inflation 4.2% average rate.
The successful bike scheme, which has seen 17 million journeys made since its launch in 2010, will see its annual membership fee rise from £45 to £90 and weekly rates jump from £5 to £10, while single usage will double from £1 to £2.
Cash fares for buses will rise by 10p to £2.40, while the Oyster rate rises just 5p to £1.40.
Tube rate rises will vary, some up by 10p and others by 20p, but the Mayor claims that the price hikes could have been even higher had his office not secured £96 million of extra government funding, which will also go towards expanding transport routes and upgrading services.
Transport for London (TfL) will receive 600 new buses over the next year, increasing the number of hybrid buses to over 400, while extensive construction work on the London Overground network and Crossrail is set to continue.
Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT transport union, said there should be a policy of freezing fares amid tough economic times.
"This increase shows that we are still paying off a heavy price for the expensive failure of the PPP (public private partnership) privatisation disaster.
"It also means that the mayor has no excuse for cutting staff and closing ticket offices as he's lumping on above-inflation fare rises.
"We believe there should be a policy of freezing fares to recognise the tough times people are facing, to increase the use of public transport and to help boost the economy."
Richard Hebditch, campaigns director at Campaign for Better Transport, said: "Earlier this week, Boris Johnson rightly received plaudits for his support for a living wage in the capital. His position on public transport is in stark contrast.
"By putting fares up above inflation, he is hitting hard-pressed families in the pocket simply for travelling to work."
In a statement, Boris Johnson said: "Before the end of the year I will spell out further investment on the transport network that will help us to provide faster, more frequent and reliable journeys for Londoners; and is crucial to the economic development and growth that is so vital to our great city."
"This fares package is hugely important to our millions of passengers and I am very pleased to have secured nearly £100m that will help to keep fares as low as possible, and protect the important concessions that we offer the most vulnerable Londoners."Suggest a correction