Sometime in the last few weeks, Transport for London’s web-based route planner just got a huge upgrade. It used to be you could only automatically plan your route by tube – if you were thinking of taking a combination of tube, bus, rail or other public transport, you still had to download maps and figure out fares and interconnections yourself.
The new site can estimate your journey practically door to door, if you give it the postcode of your destination (as long as you are in London), integrating estimated walking times, waiting times and giving costs. The only thing it doesn’t do is point out the most efficient way to pay your fare – for example a zone one tube journey is listed as costing £1.60 but if you have bought a “carnet” of ten the tickets will “only” cost £1.15 each.
In fact, the site seems almost to hide away some of the best fares – for full details you have to read a 21 page PDF.
It’s aggravating that Livingstone recently lost his battle to avoid having to use a “public private partnership” to fund tube improvements (not even The Economist thought this was a good idea!) but the £5 charge for bringing cars into the centre of London has just passed its last hurdle, so on the whole things are looking rather good for transport in London….