In a 30 April presentation to the International Association of Public Transport (UITP), an international umbrella body for public transport providers, TfL director Grant Hobbs stated that, if the 2m guidance on social distancing remains in place, London Underground could only accommodate 13% of its normal capacity.
This is obviously a problem for the company from the point of revenue. Grant Hobbs suggested at the meeting that reducing distancing guidance (i.e., to less than 2m) would help the problem. Mario Peloquin, Chief Operating Officer of MTA, the transport provider in New York, is said to have made similar comments.
We don't know what contact TfL/LU has with Public Health England behind the scenes, but it's conceivable that they and other transport providers could be lobbying public health bodies to reduce distancing guidance. Public health guidance must be based on what's best for public health, period. If public service providers face budgetary and financial difficulties as a consequence of maintaining social distancing, the government needs to step in to plug the gap. Suggesting that distancing guidance should be reduced so more people can use the Tube, before it's realistically safe to do that, is utterly reckless.