Thames cable car just half as full as a year ago
Boris Johnson has come under renewed fire for his Emirates cable car after latest figures revealed user numbers have nearly halved in the last 12 months.
For the week ending September 21, 25,056 people used the service - a steep drop from 47,604 for the same period last year.
Critics of the cable car have cited the results as significant because they are the first to give a year-on-year comparison free of an artificial Olympic boost.
The grim figures have led to calls for the Mayor to make the service free under the travelcard scheme or turn it into a privately-run tourist attraction.
Leader of the Liberal Democrats at the London Assembly Caroline Pidgeon said: "After 16 months of operating the latest passenger figures for the cable car speak for themselves. It is increasingly clear that the longer it is in existence the fewer people want to use it as it is currently run.
"The Mayor of London, who is chair of Transport for London, should now be honest with Londoners and decide what its future should be.
"If the cable car is to have any success in the long term it should either be run and operated as a privately run tourist attraction, or instead operated as an integral form of public transport, where people with a travelcard or a relevant pass can use it for free."
The latest results come as the Mayor's transport commissioner admitted for the first time figures were below expectation this year.
In a report to the Transport for London board Paul Hendy said passenger numbers were "four per cent down against budget".
However, he added plans were already in place to increase usage, such as internet bookings which he said was expected to have a "significant impact on ridership".
Number of users peaked during the Olympics at 180,000 in a week, while this summer it attracted a high of 62,000 people.
At its lowest, which came in March this year, just 16,000 people boarded the service over seven days.
TfL, however, said it was still a success.
Head of the Emirates Air Line, Danny Price, said: "Passenger numbers fluctuate due to a wide range of factors from week to week, however overall numbers this year are in line with TfL's forecasts.
"Since opening in June 2012 the Emirates Air Line has carried nearly three million people and as a vital new crossing in east London it continues to play a key role in attracting investment to this strategically important part of the capital."