UPDATE 1-Transport for London offered further 1 bln stg bailout by government -Sky News

Australian dollars in Sydney, Friday, Jan. 15, 2016. (AAP Image/Joel Carrett) NO ARCHIVING

(Adds TfL response, details from Sky News report, background)

Oct 15 (Reuters) – The British government is offering Transport for London (TfL) a further 1 billion pounds ($1.29 billion) bailout with demands that the transport operator raise fares and curb the remaining free travel entitlements for children and pensioners, Sky News reported on Thursday.

TfL, which runs the city’s transport system, has been told by ministers to introduce the reforms if it is to secure a bailout package, Sky News reported.

TfL’s income was down by 90% because people avoided public transportation at the height of the novel coronavirus pandemic between March and July. TfL was bailed out by the central government when its finances came under pressure in the crisis.

The government is demanding the extension of London’s congestion charge zone as a part of the bailout proposal, the Sky report bit.ly/2H1T8Sl said.

“We continue to discuss our immediate funding requirements with the government and hope these discussions can be concluded successfully soon, so we can help London through this next phase of the pandemic,” a TfL spokesman said.

“We are doing what we can to minimise costs and aim to continue operating a full service across our network while our funding discussions continue.”

The Department of Transport did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Last month, London Mayor Sadiq Khan had called for a 5.7 billion pounds bailout package for TfL in an attempt to keep the capital’s transport system going for the next 18 months.

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