In a recent article published on, author Philip A. Stephenson reports that London’s subway, known as the Tube, will begin offering 24-hour services on weekends in 2015. This initiative will add London’s name to the list of cities that currently offer all-night long subway services which includes Copenhagen, Berlin, and New York.

Stephenson reports “As part of his larger city transit plan, London’s Mayor Boris Johnson hopes the change will boost the economy and prepare the city of 8.3 million for the 500,000 new residents expected by 2031.”

“The expansion will only affect certain central London lines: the Central, Jubilee, Northern, Picadilly, and Victoria lines. Every day 3.5 million trips are taken on the Tube, with the lion’s share—around 73 percent—along these lines.”

“All night service of any type is a rarity on the metropolitan subway systems of the world. New York City's MTA is joined by Copenhagen’s driverless all-night Metro in offering true all-night, underground train service, while Berlin's U-bahn (Underground train) replaces its trains with buses for overnight service. Most major metropolitan transit systems, including those in Singapore, Boston, Tapei, Tokyo, Seoul, and Washington, D.C. shut down from 11:30 p.m. to midnight until 5 a.m. to 6 a.m.”

In another article on the same topic that was published in the New York Times, author Katrin Bennhold reports “The 24-hour service will start in 2015 on five lines during Friday and Saturday nights and is expected to eventually be extended to other lines and nights of the week.”

Bennhold further reports “Most of its ticket offices will be replaced by upgraded machines or turnstiles that accept contactless bank cards as part of a plan meant to bring the world’s oldest subway system into the 21st century.”

“Ticketing and the current system of payment cards, known as Oyster cards, will start to be phased out next year, when the Underground will encourage passengers to move to a system of direct payments by using bank debit cards.”

“Already, ticket offices sell less than 3 percent of the tickets used for the system, down from 10 percent 10 years ago, Transport for London, the city’s transport authority said. Closing the ticket offices will amount to roughly £50 million, or $80 million, in savings a year.”

“But at a time of sluggish economic growth, declining real wages and austerity policies, the planned closing of ticket offices, which will cost about 750 Underground workers their jobs, has angered transport unions. Some warned that it could prompt the first major strikes in four years.”


Article:London's Tube Joins an Elite Group of Cities to Offer All-Night Subway Service”, by Philip A. Stephenson, published on November 22, 2013, on the Atlantic Cities website

Article: Subway in London Plans to Run 24 Hours, by Katrin Bennhold, published on November 21, 2013, in the New York Times