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What handles 24 million journeys a day, has 19,500 bus stops and oversees 535 underground trains at any one moment during peak hours? It has to be London’s public transport network, which runs the third busiest metro system in the world, and carries over a billion passengers each year.
This blog post will get you clued up on the basics: how to use it, when you can use it and where you can go, as well as a few tips and tricks.
The World is Your Oyster
If you are intending to board a tube, bus, boat, or even cable car, in London, you will either have to buy a day travelcard before boarding, which is very expensive, or for a one off payment of £5 you can buy an Oyster card. These contactless payment cards can then be topped up and they allow you travel around the city at a much more affordable price.
To pay with an Oyster card you simply tap in at circular yellow pay points (these can be onboard buses or at the barriers in tube stations, for example) before travelling.
The driver will not be able to sell you a ticket and instead you will have to put credit on your Oyster card either using a ticket machine in tube stations, at some small convenience stores, or online.
TIP: Have you got a contactless debit card? If so, these can be used instead of an Oyster card. Simply tap in and you’re good to go!
It’s Not Where You’re Going, It's How You Get There…
While you’re getting used to London, it can help to pop some tools into your phone to make the city more navigable.
If you don’t like taking the tube, or you want to try cycling, for example, then these will let you change your transport preferences.
TIP: During Welcome Week see if people want to walk into campus together for the Freshers’ Fair or subject specific presentations. It’s a great way to get to know people and may become a more regular thing well into the term!
Okay, this bit is complicated.
It sounds obvious to some but when one of my friends from home came up to visit and tried to tap out when she got off the bus, I realised how easy it is to get it wrong!
TIP: Don’t worry about travelling around the city on a weekend - it won’t cost you a fortune! Bus journeys are charged at a flat rate of £1.50 each while tube journeys can vary from £2.30 to about £5. However, your Oyster card will cap the amount you’re charged after you’ve spent a certain amount each day. For example, if you’re travelling during off peak hours (after 9.30am on a weekday/all day weekend) and you’re staying within zones 1 and 2, it will cost you between £5 and £6 for a full day’s travel including unlimited bus and tube journeys.
Get in the Zone
Just a quick thing to note - the London transport network is divided into zones. As a general rule:
Understanding the zones will help you to place yourself within the city, and with journeys to Heathrow from zone 1 taking around 45 minutes on the Piccadilly line it’s still all within easy reach.
TIP: Can you walk it instead? Just over 100 underground stations are within walking distance of each other!
Check It Out
London is packed with things to do but how do you afford the travel? There are lots of ways to save money while you’re travelling around the city. Here are some suggestions:
TIP: Bus routes can show you a lot of London. For the price of one bus ticket (£1.50) you can see famous sights including Brick Lane, Shoreditch, the Bank of England, St. Paul’s Cathedral and Oxford Street within an hour on the number 8. The number 9 runs from LSE to Hammersmith via Trafalgar Square, Green Park, Hyde Park, the Royal Albert Hall and Kensington Palace. A special mention goes to the number 11 as well which has an absolutely stunning route - a total must do.
If you like buses then this documentary also comes highly recommended:
By planning ahead a little, making sure you are paying the best price for your journey, and using public transport to help not hinder your time exploring London, you can really have some fun getting around the city.
The TfL (Transport for London) website is a great source of info, and you can contact LSESU for further advice.
‘No one puts their children on a boat unless the water is safer than the land’ (Warsan Shire)
As you will all be aware there is a current refugee crisis in Europe. There are lots of ways that we can act to help the current situation, so if you were wondering what you can personally do to help, here are a few simple ways to get involved.
1. LSESU DROP OFF: Come and drop off any clothes, sanitary items and toiletries, sleeping bags, blankets, tinned food, fold up chairs (basically anything without a shelf life) to:
Student volunteers will gather everything and take it to Calais over the next week. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com if you require more info.
2. PROTEST: Join us at the National Day of Action in solidarity with refugees on 12th September. We’ll start at 12 noon at Marble Arch and march to Downing Street. In preparation, we’ll be creating banners in the ARC (First Floor, SAW) on 10th September from 2pm to 6pm - everyone is welcome to join.
3. SIGN THE PETITION: Call for David Cameron to house more refugees in the UK. This petition has already collected 200,000 signatures; make sure to sign your name to lobby our government to debate this issue in Parliament: petition.parliament.uk/petitions/105991
4. OTHER DROP OFFS: CalAid London delivers supplies every two weeks in case you miss the first drop off. Their next collection date is Sunday 6th and then Sunday 20th. They are desperately in need of: shoes, tents, jackets, travelling bags, socks, candles, lighters and belts. The drop off address for Sunday 6th is The Hive, 2nd Floor, 260-264 Kingsland Road, E8 4DG.
5. WRITE TO YOUR MP: Find your local MP and write to them directly, asking the Government to take action on the refugee crisis.
Nona Buckley-Irvine, General SecretaryAysha Fekaiki, Community & Welfare OfficerKatie Budd, Activities & Development OfficerJon-Rhys Foster, Education Officer
Closure info for Monday 31st August 2015 is as follows.
Study areas and computer facilities will be available at the following locations and at the following times on production of LSE ID Card:
Old Building: Shaw Library, 4th Floor Restaurant, Teaching Rooms and OLD B.25 – 08:00 to 21:00
NAB: open spaces – 08:00 – 21:00
32LIF: open spaces and teaching and seminar rooms – 08:00 – 21:00
Saw Building : 08:00 – 21:00
Postgraduate students will be able to gain entry to School Buildings between 08:00 – 21:00 on production/use of the LSE ID Card.
Emergencies will be dealt with by a team of Security staff on duty at the Old Building reception desk in Houghton Street. They can also be contacted – in an emergency - by telephone on 020-7955-6555.
Opening hours of the Library are:
9am - 11pm
Enjoy the holiday!
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