A rather dystopian, if garishly-coloured, vision of TfL/LU's corporate, semi-privatised future at Oxford Circus today, as wealthy sugar merchants Lucozade ran a promotion offering free bottles with a contactless chip worth one free Tube journey embedded in the bottom.
It has long been an ambition of LU bosses, and some politicians, to boost private sector involvement in the Tube — from selling off former ticket office space to retailers like Amazon, Tesco, and Argos, to flirting with procuring corporate sponsorship for station names ("Lucozade Oxford Circus", anyone?).
The promotion was a real boon to many travellers, for whom a free train ride is not to be sniffed at. It's just unfortunate that it came attached to the corporate fizz.
We say: yes to free travel, no to corporate involvement in the railway. With a belt-tightening exercise in the upper echelons of LU apparently underway, maybe some of the money saved by cutting back on overpaid senior bosses could go towards reducing fares.