Nearly three years after the plan was first announced, the 24-hour tube finally kicked off at the weekend, after months of strikes and negotiations with TFL workers over pay. An estimated 50,000 used the new service on Friday, and it has been estimated that when the full route is introduced that number will rocket to around 200,000 every Friday and Saturday night.
The service is currently only running on the Central line, with trains running every 10 to 20 minutes from Ealing Broadway to Loughton, and the Victoria line, with trains running every 10 minutes from Brixton to Walthamstow Central.
Coming This Autumn
The other services that are set to be rolled out this autumn are: The Jubilee line, with trains running every 10 minutes across the entire line; the Northern Line, with trains running every 8 to 15 minutes from Morden to High Barnet / Edgware (note: no service on Mill Hill East and Bank branches), and the Picadilly line, with trains running every 10 minutes between Cockfosters and Heathrow Terminal 5.
TFL have stated that they plan to include parts of the Metropolitan, Circle, District, and Hammersmith & City lines in the future, and the 24 hour service may even include London Overground in 2017 and the Docklands Light Railway by 2021.
Fares will be the same as standard off-peak day services. For travelcards things get a bit more complicated; day travelcards will be valid until 4:30am the next day… so basically if you buy one at 10am on Friday you can use it 04:29 on the following Saturday.
Safety concerns have also been taken into consideration; TFL states that “there will be an enhanced policing presence during the overnight services. The British Transport Police (BTP) will provide more than 100 officers to patrol the 144 stations that will be open throughout the night each weekend when the Night Tube services begin. More BTP Police Community Support Officers will also be out on the network to assist passengers, and support police officers, as required.”
Alcohol – As with day services, drinking alcohol on the tube (or any TFL service) is prohibited, as is carrying open bottles of alcoholic drinks.
Buses – There have also been some additions to the night bus services — these services will now run 24 hours a day on Friday and Saturday: 34, 123, 145, 158, 296, E1, W3 and W7.