Between an extensive network of red buses, the London Underground system known as ‘the tube’ and black taxis which seat 5 passengers in comfort, the public transport network will carry you anywhere you want to go around London.
To benefit from the lowest possible fare for your journey by tube or bus, invest £5 in an Oyster card before you start your first trip. Oystercards are available from every underground station; over the counter or from a vending machine.
Oyster is a plastic smartcard which will keep track of where you go and the fare you owe for every journey. When you travel by tube, you must remember to touch in, by placing your Oystercard against the circular yellow Oyster reader at the start of your journey. Then, touch out in the same way before you leave the station. At tube stations, these Oyster card readers are usually placed on the ticket barriers so that you cannot forget. On buses, touch in once only. The Oyster readers are located by the driver’s window.
You will never pay more for your journey using Oyster than you would if you bought a paper ticket or Travelcard. Travelling by bus, there is a considerable saving of £1 off the ticket price of every bus ride.
The London transport network is divided into six Zones, working out in rings from Zone 1 in Central London. Fares are calculated according to these Zones and also, by the time of day. Travel off-peak, from 9.30am to 4.30pm or after 6.30pm to avoid the commuter crowds and to pay the lower, off-peak fare.
On the tube or bus, if you are fully able-bodied and sit down in a priority seat (by a logo similar to the one shown), please be mindful that you should stand up and offer that seat to anyone who might need it. These priority seats are located close to the doors and enable people with less mobility or with visual impairments to travel more easily around London.