Student guide to travel in London

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Discounted fares

Save 30% with an 18+ Student Oyster photocard

Oyster is a smartcard which can hold pay as you go credit, Travelcard and Bus & Tram Pass season tickets. Use it to travel on bus, Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail and most National Rail services in London.

If you're 18 or over, live at a London address during term-time, in full-time education, or on a mandatory work placement in London, you may be eligible for an 18+ Student Oyster photocard. Apply online now to get a 30% discount on 7 day or longer period Travelcards and Bus & Tram Passes. There is a £20 administration fee per application.

If you're 18 and live in London you may still be eligible for a Zip 16+ Oyster photocard which offers half price travel on rail services and free travel on buses.

If you have a 16-25 Railcard, you can add the discount to your 18+ Student Oyster photocard to get a 34% discount on off-peak pay as you go fares and off-peak daily caps on Tube, DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail and most National Rail services in London.

If your Oyster photocard becomes faulty or is lost, or stolen, go to Refunds & replacements for more information.

The Night Tube

Night Tube services are now running on the Victoria line and most of the Central line, with services on the Jubilee line starting 7 October. The Northern and Piccadilly lines will follow in the autumn.
Trains are approximately every 10 minutes, and standard off-peak fares are charged. Night bus services are also available to and from some Night Tube stations.

Find out the latest details and download the Night Tube map.

Bus Hopper

Make a journey using pay as you go on a bus or tram, and you can make a second bus or tram journey for free within one hour of first touching in.

You must touch in using the same card on the second bus or tram. Hopper fares apply to adult and discounted rate pay as you go journeys.

Find out more about Bus Hopper.

Safer travel at night

Travelling in London at night is generally safe, and we're working with the police and other organisations to make it even safer. You can travel more safely by:

  • Planning your journey in advance
  • Travelling with others late at night
  • Avoiding isolated areas

However, you should be aware that only black cabs can pick up passengers on the street. A minicab must be booked in advance- if it's not booked it's not safe. Download a cab-booking app on your smartphone to find your nearest minicab or taxi.

See our Safer Travel page for more information and advice on unbooked minicabs.

Santander Cycles

One of the cheapest ways to travel around London, Santander Cycles cost £2 for 24 hours bike access, which includes as many short journeys under 30 minutes as you like. Longer journeys cost £2 for each extra 30 minutes or less.

Simply hire a bike, ride it where you like and return it to any docking station. Find out more about Santander Cycles.

Cycle skills

Cycling is a fast, fun and affordable way to travel around London. Cycle Skills sessions are free to all students.

Free cycle training is available to all students who want to familiarise themselves with new surroundings, gain more confidence on the road or just get back on a bike.

Advanced training sessions can also can help experienced cyclists with hints and tips for dealing with London's complex junctions and busy roads.

Find out more about Cycle Skills sessions.

Walking in London

Would you walk more if you could find your way around London? Walking is free, healthy and can often be quicker than public transport. Find out more about walking in London.

Motorcycling in London

Do you currently ride a motorcycle? Become a more confident and skilled rider by attending a BikeSafe London Rider Skills Day.

This one-day workshop includes two on-road rides with experienced police riders, and lunch is free. Students studying in London can pay a discounted rate of £25 (usually £45) by using the voucher code UNI2016 when booking.

Are you thinking about riding a motorcycle? Get the best-quality training available with a provider accredited by the Motorcycle Industry Association. Find your nearest accredited trainer.

Accessibility

London is one of the most accessible cities in the world. All our buses have wheelchair ramps, many stations are step-free and we have audio/visual information on our trains.

We also offer a range of maps, guides and leaflets to help young disabled people get around, and our staff are on hand to offer the support you need. Get more information on accessibility.

London's first Quietway

London's first Quietway route for cyclists is now open. It's a continuous route linking Greenwich and Waterloo by quieter backstreet roads.

The cycle route passes through four London boroughs (Lambeth, Southwark, Lewisham and the Royal Borough of Greenwich) and includes more than 2km of traffic-free paths and improved pedestrian facilities. 

There are new or improved road crossing facilities and wider footways which will make the route safer and more attractive for walking as well as cycling.

Free walking tours

On Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 October, TfL will be running more than 40 walking tours of varying lengths and difficulty across London.

They include a Freshers' Trivia Walk specifically tailored to students arriving in London. The tours are all free.

Reserve yourself a space.

Travel planning tools

Choose the best route and service for your journey by using the information from one of our online tools. Bookmark our travel planning pages on your smartphone to get live service information when you're out and about.

Maps

We have a range of maps for our services to help you get around. Use our interactive maps or collect printed maps from stations around London. See our maps.

Journey planner

This can show you the fastest route to your destination using any mode of transport. Any problems or delays with your chosen route will be highlighted so you can allow more time for your journey. Plan a journey now.

Status updates

Up-to-date information about services can help you avoid delays and trouble spots. Get the latest status updates.

Buses

Enter your route number to get live information on delays, route diversions and other updates.

You can also go to live bus arrival information - enter your route number, postcode, area or street name to find out when the next bus is due.

Night buses

We have an extensive network of night buses across London, including routes to and from Night Tube stations.

Night bus maps are available for all routes - just enter the route or area you are interested in to see where night services are available. You can also use our journey planner for help with finding your night bus home.

The following bus routes are now running 24 hours a day on Friday and Saturday: 34, 123, 145, 158, 296, E1, W3 and W7. These services run twice an hour through the night, with W7 running three times an hour.

Student toolkit

TfL and its policing partners run campaigns on cycle safety, theft and safer travel at night. Download the posters and leaflets below for your own information or to display in communal areas.

Cycle security

We've teamed up with the British Transport Police to devise a cycle security campaign called Lock Thieves Out. Leaflets and posters are available to download as part of the toolkit:

Theft

Theft is the most common type of crime on the transport system. Passengers are sometimes targeted in busy areas, or when they are distracted and less likely to notice they are being pickpocketed.

The British Transport Police has a campaign to help passengers learn how to minimise the risk of theft: 

Please visit the Be Aware guide on the British Transport Police site for more information.

Safer travel at night

A major safety concern is unbooked minicabs picked up on the street or outside pubs and clubs. These minicabs are acting illegally, are unregulated and uninsured for the purposes of carrying passengers.

You can incorporate the downloadable banners for Cabwise into your student information materials to remind people to plan their journeys home and book minicabs safely. There are four sizes to choose from: 

Reporting taxi touts

If you have information about touting or other illegal cab activity, please use our reporting touting and illegal cab activity form. When submitting a report, please provide as much detail as possible about the incident or issue.

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