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A Guide to Commuting in London

London can be a busy and confusing place, filled with buses, tubes, and bikes. To welcome our freshers this year and make sure you guys don’t get lost, here’s a quick guide to transportation in London.

London Underground sign

London can be a busy and confusing place, filled with buses, tubes, and bikes. To welcome our freshers this year and make sure you guys don’t get lost, here’s a quick guide to transportation in London.

 

Buses

London’s double-decker buses are a well known feature of this city and are a great way to get around. In addition to having a lot of space and big windows through which you can appreciate the city, these buses cover the entire London area and many of them still operate throughout the night.

 

The fares are around £1.50, with a daily maximum of £4.65. It is important to keep in mind that these buses are cashless, you therefore have to pay either using an Oyster Card (more below) or a contactless credit card.

 

Tubes

The London Underground system is often the fastest way to get somewhere in London. The tubes are fast, frequent, and benefit from a vast infrastructure spanning the city. Most tube lines stop between midnight and around 5 am every night except weekends, so make sure to keep that in mind.

The flip side is that they can be quite expensive, depending on where (and when) you are headed. Generally, the further away from central London you are going, the more expensive the fare will be. To pay for this fare, you can use tickets, a contactless credit card, or an Oyster Card. My advice would be to get a student oyster card that usually gets you cheaper fares, which you can also use to pay for buses and trains. If you plan on commuting a lot, get a monthly plan that allows you to travel as much as you want for a set price of around £95 per month. While this seems expensive it can save you money in the long run.

Click on this link to order a student Oyster Card.

PlaceTech | Transport for London pour suivre les utilisateurs de Tube via  wifi

 

Others

While most of the time you will probably find yourself either taking the bus or the tube to get around London, there are other alternatives. Santander Bikes are bikes that you can lend at various spots around London, for £2 per 30 minutes. Simply pick one up, head to your destination, and park it at another docking station.

You can also choose to use taxis or trains if you live further away from campus, but these options are often more expensive.

 

Apps

To find the fastest way to get around at any given time, a good bet would simply be either Apple Maps or Google Maps. They take into account (most of the time) any problems with bus or tube lines and they work in most situations. Another app, called CityMapper, is also great and has the added benefit of showing you the different prices you would have to pay depending on the way you get to your destination (bus or tube for example).

 

One of the advantages of studying at a university that sits in the middle of one of the biggest cities in the world is that the transport system surrounding it is well developed. Whether it be by bus, tube, or bike I hope this guide will help you explore this beautiful city!