Commuters will be offered three-day season tickets in plans to get Brits back to the office
COMMUTERS will be offered three-day season tickets under plans to get Brits back to the office.
It comes as ministers look for ways to entice nervous staff back into their company buildings, after months working from home.
⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
And rail firms think that cheaper part-time tickets are a good way to help people travel to work once more.
The Telegraph reports an announcement on new forms of tickets could be made next month, if the Government extends emergency railway funding.
Many people have become used to the idea of working from home – and the money saved by not commuting – the Prime Minister fears, and don't want to go back to the office.
But Boris Johnson is readying for a huge push to encourage workers it is safe to head back into work after coronavirus restrictions were lifted.
Surveys found one way to tempt people back onto the trains would be to create tickets that match the flexible in-office approach many companies are offering.
Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog Transport Focus, said: “Our research tells us almost two in three former rail commuters expect to work from home more. For many passengers, there just isn’t a ticket available that fits the way we live and travel now.
“To get Britain moving again the Government needs to accelerate the rate of fares reform so that train companies can offer a flexible season ticket or a carnet style ‘bundle’ for commuters and better value-for-money fares across the board.”
If five-day season tickets offer about a 50 per cent discount per week at a cost of £125, a three-day season could cost £75.
A rail industry source said: “People have got used to working from home and conducting all their meetings online. If it costs them £50 to go to the office for a day they are not going to do that just to see their colleagues and have a chat by the water cooler.
“Trains are operating at a fraction of capacity at the moment and although there is a cost implication to offering part-time season tickets, it is better to have fare-paying passengers three days a week than no days a week.”
Great Western Railway proposed a new “three days in seven” season ticket last month, in an attempt to get thousands of home counties workers back to their London offices to reboot the economy.
Another ticket proposed by the firm will permit travel on any 12 days in the month.
The railway company, which runs services into London from towns and cities including Bath, Cardiff, Reading and Oxford, said: “Our research suggests commuters will travel, on average, into work three days a week, rather than the current five.”
It comes as Brits are being warned to get back to work or risk losing their jobs – as Mr Johnson urges workers to return to their desks.
A new Government campaign to encourage people to leave their home set-up is set to kick in after schools reopen next week.
The push will include reassurances on the safety of offices, and the benefits of being around colleagues.
Ministers are reportedly not going to shy away from the negatives of working from home either, as the PM worries empty offices will slow the country's progress – warning that workers are more vulnerable to being let go if they're not at their desks.
A Government source told the Telegraph: "People need to understand that working from home isn't the benign option it seems.
"We need workers to be alert to what decisions their bosses may take in the weeks ahead.
Source: Read Full Article