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touch of painted curls
London transportation 
31st-Jul-2003 12:36 pm
London Underground was very impressive. Colorful signs were clear and abundant. Walking between tubes gives a feeling of rats in a busy maze (but that's not really bothersome to me). :) The system is extensive, with a fine web of routes downtown and branches extending over an hour outside the city (including airports).

The trains don't travel super fast; they just don't have traffic. Bus routes were sometimes more direct, but a bus stops at every light, stop, jam, and swerving driver; and doesn't come as often as a result. I'd not realized what a difference this makes. Train stops are very quick; it only takes a moment for people to get on and off.

Due to congestion problems, there is a daily charge of £5 for driving a car in downtown London. This charge is approximately the same as that of an unlimited rail pass. (As a side note, the car tariff is collected by video cameras which constantly record registration numbers.) Few of the cars on the roads in central London were private vehicles.

To those of you who live in big cities and use public transportation regularly, this probably isn't interesting. Where I live now (upstate NY), we have buses and some train service, but no underground. I wouldn't want to be without a car, here.

I've reflected time after time whle watching busy colonies of cars, each carriying a person or two, each with its destination, character, owner and purpose. These sleek vehicles on rails dance with a little more... choreography. It's amazing what people accomplish when they agree to some rules.
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