A complete guide to London’s transport and ticketing system

A complete guide to London’s transport and ticketing system

Travelling to London means getting a taste of its public transport system. Though it’s designed for the convenience of its people and efficiently works for London commuters, it can be a bit overwhelming for a new person. Though the maps and well marked directions are self-explanatory and easy to follow, this article aims to further simplify the system for you. Also booking a hotel in Bayswater London will keep you close to London attractions. 

London’s underground network is the oldest metro system in the world. Itfirst started in 1863 with steam engine trains operating the route between Paddington and Farrington. Book Hotels near Paddington station to explore the real beauty of London city. It carried 38,000 passengers on its first day and rest as we know is history. It is still the busiest rail system in the world. The London rail network is an attraction in itself. But unlike most London attractions it is not very cheap and can be expensive to use daily. It is therefore very crucial for a tourist to understand what all is available and how to use it so that you can make the most of your money spent on commuting. 

Paper tickets, Oyster and contactless cards

Paper tickets are still available for the underground, but the reusable Oyster cards are a more preferable way of commuting nowadays. This has been done to make the system more digital and environment friendly by making it paperless. If you don’t have an oyster you can use your contactless debit or credit card to pay as you go. You even save some money going the oyster or contactless route. 

Oyster cards on the other hand can be bought for five pounds and you can top it up as and when you need it. If you are in London for a short trip, you can return your Oyster card at the end of the trip and your money will be refunded. All you have to do is touch the card, it shows you your balance and off you go. It works on all London transport networks. Infact, in buses you can only pay via an oyster or contactless card. You can top up your oyster online, on dedicated corner shops and the station kiosks. 

Peak time and off-peak fares

The main factors that decide how much you are charged for your journey are- what time of the day you are travelling and in which zone. The prices are high when you travel during peak times, which are 6.30 to 9.30 and 4.00 to 7pm Monday to Friday, except when it is a bank holiday. So if you travel out of these hours you will be charged less. London’s transport network consists of 9 zones. The cost of travelling through these zones also determines how much or less you are charged. As a visitor to the city, you will be travelling a lot between Zone 1 and zone 2 which covers central London, as most of the attractions are there. You can find a lot more information on the TFL website and make your travel more planned and smooth. Book a hotel near Hyde Park corner hotels to stay close to zone 1 and 2. If you are travelling with family and kids it will be more convenient for you to travel in off-peak times and save money as well as the chaos of peak time commuters. Also a hotel in London with twin room occupancy.