On 9 January 2013, the London Underground system, affectionately called the Tube by Brits, celebrated its 150th year of service. The Tube saw its beginning in 1863 and played an important role in protecting London citizens during WWII German bombing raids. The Tube continues to shuttle passengers to and from work and London homes, apartments, and flats at the astonishing rate of one billion annually.
If you are relocating to London, the Tube provides fast and secure transport between various zones of the city. The Tube consists of 12 lines that run through and service 9 zones. Zones 1 and 2 cover the center of the Capital with almost all sites and a majority of hotels contained within zone 1. Zones 6 through 9 include all outer areas of the city.
Besides taking the Tube, you can also utilize other means of transportation from London flats or apartments. Hop aboard a bus, take a taxi, or strike off bicycling or walking if the distance isn’t too great and the weather’s good.
Here are 10 handy transportation tips that will help you get around the city after your move to London.
Tip #1 – The Tube consists of 9 zones and pricing is based on how many zones you need to travel through in order to reach your destination. Travel time is also calculated based on zones. Each Underground station provids zone maps for reference. Maps can also be viewed, downloaded, and printed from numerous websites.
Tip #2 – Speaking of maps, it is a good idea and common practice when you are traveling around the city from London apartments for rent to carry a map each of the Tube, bus routes, and walking routes.
Tip #3 – It can be a bit confusing when taking the Tube upon first relocating to London. The key is learning to utilize the color-coded stripes that lead to and from the correct loading platform. Each colored line represents a destination and station name.
Tip #4 – There is a proper etiquette that is observed in the Underground which you should learn and observe. For example, stand on the right side of escalators, or stand aside and let important personnel pass when a barrier “Seek Assistance” light is flashing.
Tip #5 – Although trains in the Underground zip to and from their destinations rapidly, it can sometimes be time consuming when boarding them (especially during 6:30pm rush hour). Therefore, keep in mind that buses arrive more frequently and are both cleaner and cheaper than the Tube.
Tip #6 – If you are traveling or sightseeing along the Thames River, take advantage of the River Bus that provides express 20 minute trips between Tate Britain and Tate Modern.
Tip #7 – It is advisable to purchase an Oyster card upon moving to London. The Oyster card stores credits that are used for public transportation. They can be recharged with various amounts and can even be automatically recharged by utilizing your bank account or a credit card. Oyster cards allow you to skip ticket lines and avoid the hassle of having to sort through coins.
Tip #8 – Some savings can be had over regular taxis by booking minicabs either over the phone or internet. Minicabs don’t have meters and operate by setting a fee during the booking (make sure you establish a fee). It is advisable, however, to never take a minicab without booking it first. If you require a cab instantly, take a regular metered taxi.
Tip #9 – Cycling excursions from London flats for rent are an excellent way to enjoy the city if the weather is nice. You can rent a bicycle from Barclays docking stations located across the city.
Tip #10 – Walking is another excellent transportation option if the weather is good. This is an ideal way for those relocating to London to get out, get to know their neighborhood, and meet and socialize with people.