For travelers who have never been to, or aren’t familiar with London, the underground rapid transit system, much like the subway system in New York, can be a great help for getting around, quickly from place to place. With hundreds of stops, detailed schedules, service near airports, hotels, popular attractions, and virtually everywhere, The London Underground is one of the most popular ways to traverse the city, for both locals and those there on vacation. Urban areas can be frustrating, and hard to reach if you’re not sure where you’re going, or don’t do so well with directions. However, reading over the schedules, many tourists will find that the rail runs pretty much everywhere, and at various times, which can help a frustrated situation as well.
The London Underground, despite being a very old rapid transit system, will never remain a stagnant railway. Throughout the years, quite a few different changes have been taking place in the Underground’s railways. The city of London has expanded over the years, which means that the city’s transit must as well, and several new projects for expansion are in the works for the Underground. Some examples of new projects are the new station for the Heathrow Airport, on the Picadilly line, another new station on Wood Lane for patrons at the Westfield London shopping center, as well as others. Some projects are more time consuming, like the re-extension of the Bakerloo line to Watford Junction; it used to end at Harrow and Wealdstone.
One of the newest ways for travelers to take advantage of the London Underground, is called The Oyster Card, which is basically a prepaid card for all public London transportation, whether it’s the tram, the Underground, or the bus system. This is probably the most convenient of travel fund methods for travelers; having to keep track of multiple tickets and payment methods and prices can be a hassle. The Oyster Card is also cheaper to pay for than so many separate tickets; there’s a lot of encouragement to use the Oyster Card so there are significant prices differences in the usual rates for the transportation were it to be all paid for with separate tickets instead. More and more frequently increasing as well, are the number of routes on which passengers can pay as they go.
Information for travelers is available in the many different Underground stations found throughout the city, as well as online. Some helpful trips for traveling are to keep your travel information and tickets readily available, in your wallet or purse, so that you can check on important information at the last minute. Also be sure to bring a map of the route, know where your stops are, and at least have a cursory knowledge of the area. If you’re traveling with a family, be sure to bring snacks if it’s going to be a longer trip, but keeping an eye on your small children is very important, public transportation is dangerous in many ways to small children, with strangers, and a fast-paced atmosphere. Keep a close eye on any baggage or belongings as well.