All Information Needed by Travelers in London

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By Jovy Ann

There are a lot of options when travelling in London: there is the omnipresent London Black Cab, the hectic London Underground, the somewhat monotonous London Bus, boats on the Thames, and hired bicycles also known as Boris's Bikes.

Having pleasures in London can be costly, but the largest part cost effective way is with obtaining the Oyster cards which are basically bus train tickets that can be employed on London Underground and Over ground, the Tram, National Rail, and Thames Clippers. Actually it is a smartcard that is comprehended by touching it on an automatic reader and you will be able to load it with pre-paid credit or a travelcard London. Even if you don't pre-purchase a travelcard, your every day transportation charges will be capped at travelcard prices; Oyster cards are intended to offer the lowest fares.

The cost of a travelcard London will depend on the number of zones in which you travel. There are nine zones, zones 1 and 2 being in the centre and zones 3 to 9 covering Outer London. Travelling on the tube is the most popular way to travel in London, but at busy times it can be very overcrowded and uncomfortable. Part of it is the oldest underground railway in the world - and it shows. However it is the fastest way around the capital and with a total of 250 stations and 250 miles of track you can reach just about anywhere in the city. There are 11 lines that are color coded on underground maps which, until you get used to them, can be a bit of an intelligence test; but if you get stuck the staff are always friendly and helpful (we wish).

The black cabs are an indispensable piece of London despite the fact that these days a lot of are not black and their drivers are smart kinds frequently with a theoretical bent; their beguiling talk can be amusing and it will aid take your mind of the huge taxi fare that is clocking up on the meter whist you are trapped in a traffic jam. London buses are all painted red although they are run by a number of private operators. There are a lot of grand bus paths and receiving around London by bus can be a challenge. However fares are reasonable, and services tend to be regular. Try to avoid major routes during busy times as the busses can get overcrowded and unpleasant and journeys can take a very long time.

Boris Bikes are a popular way to get around the city. They are called that after the Lord Mayor Boris Johnson, but really the scheme is Barclays Cycle Hire. It allows members of the public to hire one of the 6,000 bikes that are currently available through the 400 bike docking stations that are distributed in central London. The scheme can be accessed by pre-ordering a key, or by using a credit card at the docking station. You can buy just a single day's access or access for a week. There is a small access charge (currently 1 for 24 hours) and the first 30 minutes usage is free. Use it for an hour and the cost is 1 but then rises sharply. If you keep it for the full 24 hours you will be charged 50; note that if you dock it every 30 minutes, then wait 5 minutes before you ride away again, you can hire it all day for free.

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