Oyster is London’s travel smartcard. It can be used on virtually all London Public Transportation. You can load your card with cash and use it to pay fare, or you can load it with a season bus pass, and have unlimited use. Oyster cards are reusable, so when your travel value (cash) runs out, you can just refill it.
Oyster cards with Travelcards are valid on Tube, DLR, tram and National Rail services within your chosen zones and across the entire London bus network.
Oyster cards with Bus Passes are valid across the entire London bus network and on trams. You can also use Oyster to pay as you go on Tube, bus, DLR, tram, and some National Rail services.
Transport for London
The public transport network, administered by Transport for London (TfL), is one of the most extensive in the world. The centerpiece of the public transport network is the London Underground, the oldest metro system in the world, upon which nearly 1 billion journeys are made each year. The Underground serves the central area and most suburbs to the north of the Thames, whilst those to the south are served by an extensive suburban rail network. Commuter and intercity railways generally do not cross the city, instead running into fourteen terminal stations scattered around its historic centre. The London bus network caters for most local journeys and carries even more passengers than the Underground.
The London Underground
Despite its name, about 55% of the network is above ground. Popular local names include the Underground and, more colloquially, the Tube, in reference to the cylindrical shape of the system’s deep-bore tunnels. The Underground serves 274 stations. London is served by 12 Tube lines. Underground trains on all lines run every few minutes between 5.30 a.m. until 12:30 a.m. Monday to Saturday, and between 7:30 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. on Sundays. The Underground does not run 24 hours a day because all track maintenance must be done at night after the system closes – unlike systems such as the New York City Subway, few parts of the Underground have express tracks that would allow trains to be routed around maintenance sites. You can get a map for the entire Underground system free of charge from all train station ticket offices, or by visiting online.
The Underground serves the central area and most suburbs to the north of the Thames, whilst those to the south are served by an extensive suburban rail network. Commuter and intercity railways generally do not cross the city, instead running into fourteen terminal stations scattered around its historic centre. The London bus network caters for most local journeys and carries even more passengers than the Underground.
London Underground Lines
Name, Map color, Type, Length, Stations
Bakerloo Line Brown Deep level 14.5 25
Central Line Red Deep level 46 49
Circle Line Yellow Sub-surface 14 27
District Line Green Sub-surface 40 60
East London Line Orange Sub-surface 4.6 8
Hammersmith & City Line Pink Sub-surface 16.5 28
Jubilee Line Silver Deep level 22.5 27
Metropolitan Line Purple Sub-surface 41.5 34
Northern Line Black Deep level 36 50
Piccadilly Line Dark Blue Deep level 44.3 52
Victoria Line Light Blue Deep level 13.25 16
Waterloo & City Line Teal Deep level 1.5 2
London’s bus network is one of the largest and most comprehensive urban transport systems in the world. Every weekday over 6,800 scheduled buses carry around six million passengers on over 700 different routes. Use Journey Planner to find the quickest, most convenient routes across the Capital. You can also use Journey Planner to check your bus timetable and search for your nearest bus stop.
For information on timetables and fares, and services outside Greater London, please contact National Rail Enquiries at their website.
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