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Getting Around in London: Examples of an Effective Transportation System

Updated on January 4, 2013

Transportation in London

London has one of the best and most advanced transportation systems in the world. Part of my job is to analyze and design transportation systems so I am always interested to see how different cities incorporate transportation systems in their city.

The intent of this hub is to highlight some of the cool and interesting transportation elements that make London such a great place for getting around. I've focused on two main systems in this hub, London's rapid transit system and their bicycle infrastructure. I've included some pictures from my last trip there.

Rapid Transit via The London Underground
The London Underground is one of the largest rapid transit systems in the world. I was impressed by the extent of their system and how easy it was to use. I was staying east of the city and the system was quite easy to connect to via London's Docklands Light Railway.

Some of the nice things I noticed about the London Underground was the pre-purchasing of tickets, use of traveler information systems, nice signing and amenities at stations, and great branding of the system. Below are a few pictures.

"London Underground" System Branding
"London Underground" System Branding
London Underground Station Entry - Another good example of System Branding
London Underground Station Entry - Another good example of System Branding
Dockland Light Railway Route Sign - Notice the similar branding the DLR has to the Subway
Dockland Light Railway Route Sign - Notice the similar branding the DLR has to the Subway
Dockland Light Railway Payment Station - Pre-payment system for increased efficiency
Dockland Light Railway Payment Station - Pre-payment system for increased efficiency

London's Bicycling System

In addition to their rapid transit system, London also has great accommodations for bicyclers via the London Cycle Superhighway and the London Bike Sharing program, called Barclay's Cycle Hire. These are both innovative methods to encourage people to use alternative modes of travel to reach their destinations.

The Cycle Superhighway connects the outskirts of London with the central city. Currently two highways have opened with an additional ten planned. Barclay's Cycle Hire is a traditional bike sharing program that allows users to pick up and drop off bicycles at stations located around the city.

For anyone that is a bike enthusiast, London is a great place to check out. With their great bike sharing system, you can enjoy the city on bike very easily. Check out the pictures below of the London's biking system.

Barclay’s Cycle Hire Station
Barclay’s Cycle Hire Station
Cycle Hire Payment Kiosk – (Notice similar branding to London’s Rapid Transit Systems)
Cycle Hire Payment Kiosk – (Notice similar branding to London’s Rapid Transit Systems)
Cycle Superhighway Wayfinding Sign
Cycle Superhighway Wayfinding Sign
Cycle Superhighway Lanes
Cycle Superhighway Lanes

Summary & Conclusion

This hub has highlighted just two aspects of London's transportation system, their rapid transit system (including both light rail transit and the London Underground) as well as their innovative bike sharing program. London is a world class city that offers world class transportation systems.

Feel free to comment about other experiences with the transportation system in London or other cities.

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