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 Transportation Tips 
The real trick to getting around London is figuring out which of the city's numerous transit options will work best for a given journey -- and the answer to that conundrum often depends on the time of day, the number of people traveling together, the weather, and the frequent disruptions of rail service caused by scheduled repair work or unscheduled breakdowns. When everything is working properly, the London Underground (commonly known as the Tube) is a fast and efficient way to reach many parts of the city, but brace yourself for seriously crowded conditions during commute hours, and for confusing diversions that crop up when system work is in progress. For some trips within Greater London, light rail lines and commuter trains can be a sensible alternative to the Tube, and the city's famous red double-decker buses can be a fun way to get around, though generally not a good option if you're in a hurry.

Tube and rail fares, which are charged by distance traveled rather than on a per-trip basis, really can add up, so for more than two people traveling together, it's often cheaper to take a taxi. Two kinds are available -- metered black cabs (many of which are covered with colorful advertisements these days) and unmetered minicabs. Black cabs can be flagged down anywhere, and their drivers are legendary for being as convivial as they are knowledgeable. Minicabs, which must be requested by telephone or in person at local booking offices, are generally less expensive, though you must negotiate a set price for each journey.

The official Transport for London Web site (www.tfl.gov.uk) publishes comprehensive information about all local transportation options, including Underground lines, buses, taxis, light rail, river boats and commuter trains. Look here for information about one- and three-day transit passes, which can be much cheaper than paying for individual Tube and bus fares, and about the new Oyster smart cards, which can be used on most transit systems including National Rail lines. The site also has an interactive journey planner that allows you to enter a starting address or station, name your destination and get details about all available combinations of rail, road or river transportation that will get you there. Another good online resource is Visit London's Tube Guru (www.visitlondon.com/tubeguru), a searchable directory of hotels, restaurants, entertainment, shops and attractions located near each London Underground station.
Information: Tube Guru,

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