A Guide to Bus Travel around London
London has some of the best public transport of any major city in the world. However, whereas the Tube is often people’s go-to method of transport, the bus is often the better option. The Tube can be stuffy, crowded and subject to engineering works while the buses offer alternative routes, allow you to see more of the city and often run when the Tube is down. Here is a guide to taking the bus in London.
Concessions for Students
First and foremost, buses are cheap! Those in full time education and on a mandatory work placement can also benefit from an 18+ Oyster Card which gets you 30% off the ordinary fare (for buses and the Tube). If your university is enrolled on this TfL (Transport for London) scheme, you can apply for one of these money-savers by providing a colour photo to upload, student ID and £10 fee along with your course start and end dates and active email address.
How to Pay
Ordinarily, a single bus fare is £2.00, you can pay your fare either using your Oyster Card or a contactless payment card. You cannot pay bus fares with cash. You can pay using either of these methods by touching your card on the yellow panel as soon as you step on to the bus.
Stopping the Bus
Bus drivers can only stop at designated bus stops. When you know your stop is coming up, request for the driver to stop by pressing once on one of the red buttons. When the bus stops you can exit via the middle doors.
There are night buses running throughout the hours when the Tubes close. The hub for night buses is at Trafalgar Square where you can familiarise yourself with routes. Night buses are less frequent than day time services so use an app such as London Bus Countdown to keep you up-to-date with your bus. Night buses have a reputation for crime so try not to travel alone on one and always be aware of your surroundings.
There are 8,500 low-floor vehicles which are accessible to wheelchair users as well as those with baby buggies and people with assistance dogs. Wheelchair users can travel for free on London buses. Unfortunately, only one wheelchair user can fit on a bus at one time, however, will be given priority for the allotted space.
London’s famous red buses are a great way to see the capital. Especially, in better weather – make sure you experience the capital from one of these icons. If you are looking to travel outside of London take a look at either the National Express, or for cheaper travel, the Mega Bus websites.
We hope this helps you to get around London more easily! Check out our student accommodation in London page too!