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Aim for tube, or grab bus if you see one? Opinion.

Toronto
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Aim for tube, or grab bus if you see one? Opinion.

Here's one, probably for the locals.

Scenario: You're travelling a short distance - for example - within one area of Zone 1 to another area of Zone 1 - or maybe from Zone 1 just to within the border of Zone 2. You have your tube route mapped out in your mind. Perhaps it involves a transfer to a second line to get to your destination. Just as you're about to go into the tube, a bus stops outside on the road, and it's also going to your destination.

Do you:

a) decide to hop on the bus instead?

b) continue below to the tube?

The reason I ask, is because, the few times I DID take buses in London, they were remarkably fast on short trips and extremely direct. They seem to travel very specific routes that are very convenient for people. So if you're familiar with the bus system, what would you do, as a local?

I'm not necessarily talking about a regular trip you take - I.e. If you go to work and back home, you probably know the best mode of transport for your route already. I'm talking about one-off, specific journeys.

Dunno about y'all, but I actually found street traffic not to be that bad in London! It was busy, but it moved, I don't recall seeing any "jams" per se.

Harrow, United...
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1. Re: Aim for tube, or grab bus if you see one? Opinion.

it depends on the time and day but if i'm going further than a couple of tube stops then i'd take the tube generally as it quicker. however i do like to take the bus (usually at weekends) through parts i don't know well as you get a good view of area's especially sat upstairs and i can jump off and look round on foot and find the next stop to jump back on again.

Wales, United...
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2. Re: Aim for tube, or grab bus if you see one? Opinion.

Buses can be much faster than the tube for journeys which involve a change of lines, or are quite short on the surface. Holborn to Waterloo or Trafalgar Square is one example. By the time you descend into the bowels of the earth, make a change to anothe rline, and then climb up into the daylight again, you are almost certianly going to have already arrived by bus!

Add in the fact that the bus is cheaper, you can see London, especially from the top deck, and it's why we take the bus far more than the tube when we visit the capital!

Loughton, United...
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3. Re: Aim for tube, or grab bus if you see one? Opinion.

I'd most likely jump on the bus, but not if it was going along the Strand or Whitehall! Or other places with endemic traffic jams....

Ottawa, Canada
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4. Re: Aim for tube, or grab bus if you see one? Opinion.

Bus all the time for situations like that (or walk). For short trips, by the time you get into the station, make your way down a couple of hundred feet, wait for train in the stinking heat. Hop on the train and sniff someones armpits (completely by accident I assure you). Get of the train, make my way up to the surface, i probably could have walked it faster and would have missed all the sites and smells (apart from the armpits) of London. They have their place in London that's for sure, and i use them all the time, but if i had the choice, i'd bus or walk it.

Harrow, United...
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5. Re: Aim for tube, or grab bus if you see one? Opinion.

true loughtonian. once made the mistake of jumping on a bus outside selfridges to charing cross station on a saturday mid morning and spent 45 minutes just on oxford street due to people either using pedestrain crossings or running out in front of buses to dart across road.

London
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6. Re: Aim for tube, or grab bus if you see one? Opinion.

It really does depend hugely on the exact journey/time of day/direction and unknowns like 'incidents'. I nearly always bus between the City (Tower Hill or St Paul's) and Aldwych/the South Bank and various other routes but you were lucky you didn't encounter jams. I've had to get off buses because they were stuck in so much traffic going nowhere and when they've been 'regulating the service', i.e. going extra slowly and stopping an age at stops. I also use buses for some routes where I hate the change of line or just the line (!). It's very hard for the casual visitor to know all the permutations though. It does take years to have a big enough 'sample' to know what's what. I always say the first 10 years are the worst, till you get the hang of it:)

Edited: 06 May 2014, 18:05
Baton Rouge
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7. Re: Aim for tube, or grab bus if you see one? Opinion.

If I saw a bus headed toward my destination, and it was a short trip, I'd probably hop on. We almost did that with a bus from the Chelsea area (after a Stamford Bridge tour) back to our hotel (Park Plaza Westminster Bridge), but the estimated time on the bus, per the chart at the bus stop, was about 45 minutes. We decided to stick with the tube, which was faster, but less scenic.

Toronto
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8. Re: Aim for tube, or grab bus if you see one? Opinion.

Very interesting, people! I think I will give the bus a go a little more often this time, especially at night. What would you guys recommend for a slightly longer trip at night (8 PM) or on the weekend, I.e.:

Oxford/Piccadilly Stations/area, to, the Clapham area I.e. (Clapham Common station)

Wales, United...
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9. Re: Aim for tube, or grab bus if you see one? Opinion.

>>>I'd most likely jump on the bus, but not if it was going along the Strand or Whitehall! Or other places with endemic traffic jams....<<<

I think we must have been lucky on both Whitehall and The Strand, as we've never found it anywhere near as slow as Oxford Street! Honestly, we didn't encounter any delays on our most recent visit, though that was during Easter. Come to think of it, we have often visited at Twixmas, too, so that might also have had a big bearing on traffic levels!

London, England
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10. Re: Aim for tube, or grab bus if you see one? Opinion.

I'd definitely take the bus for a short journey. I hate the tube and often you walk a long way even to get to the platform.

Obviously, if you are commuting and rushing to work it is a necessity, but otherwise for me it is a no brainer, bus every time.