Established on 03 July 2000 as the successor of London Regional Transport (LRT) (known as ‘London Transport’) Transport for London (TfL) is the local government body responsible for the majority of aspects of transport in Greater London, England. It manages and implements transport services all over London including London Underground, London Buses, London River Services, London Trams, London Overground, DLR and many more services. Despite being established in 2000 TfL didn’t take responsibility for London Underground until 2003 after the public-private partnership contract was agreed, they also took over the Public Carriage Office from the Metropolitan Police.
The Roundel is used by TfL to represent them and their services. First used in 1908 at underground stations as station nameboards they helped give prominence to the name of the stations and helped passengers distinguish it from surrounding advertising. The current roundel is different from the original design of a solid red enamel disc and horizontal blue bar, an original design roundel can still be seen at Ealing Broadway Station on District Line Platform 9. 1908 saw many of the then separate railway companies operating under London to collectively use the term ‘Underground’ for joint promotion of their services, a logotype was quickly made which spelt ‘Underground’ with a large uppercase ‘U’ and ‘D’ at the beginning and end which was used outside stations and on advertising. In the early 1910’s the logotype started to appear across the red disc and blue bar symbol seen at most Underground Stations which helped to establish the roundel as a unified company trademark. In 1912 the London General Omnibus Company (LGOC) become part of the Underground Group and at that point Underground decided to merge the LGOC trademark which they introduced in 1905 with their Underground trademark which saw the blue bar of the Underground trademark across the wheel of the LGOC trademark and the roundel as we know it today was made. The Metropolitan Railway used its own version of the roundel from 1914 until it become part of the Underground Group which saw a blue bar over a red diamond.
TfL is run by a board chosen by the Mayor of London who also chairs the board. TfL is organised into 3 directorates which are responsible for certain TfL services. The directorates are:
London Underground – responsible for running the London Underground Rail Network. London Underground Management recently merged with the management of the London Rail directorate. The network is divided into 3 delivery areas:
London Rail – responsible for maintaining the relationship with National Rail services within London and manages non-tube rail systems in London. London Rail is also responsible for the following TfL services:
Surface Transport – responsible for the following TfL services:
Fares & Ticketing
TfL services share charging and ticketing, London Buses & Trams share a common fare and ticketing regime and the DLR, London Overground, London Underground and National Rail services within London share another. Rail fares are calculated by a zonal fare system, even London Bus Stops show the zone they are in they aren’t actually affected by the zonal system. There are 9 zones in London numbered Zone 1 – Zone 9, you can also buy tickets which cover Watford Junction known as the ‘W’ Zone (Watford) and Thurrock known as the ‘G’ Zone (Grays) although these can only be bought with a tickets for up to Zone 9.
The Travelcard System provides zonal tickets valid from one day to one year and also provide off-peak specific tickets. Travelcards are accepted on London’s Buses & Trams and the DLR, London Underground, London Overground and National Rail services within their valid zones or stations. Travelcards also provide a discount on many London River Services.
The Oyster Card is a contactless smart card which was introduced in 2003 to allow people to make payment for TfL services quickly & easily and can be used to pay for individual fares including Pay as you go or Travelcards and other passes can be purchased on them. They are used by being placed next to yellow Oyster Card readers which are found by the entrance of buses, on the platforms at Tram stops and National Rail – London Underground Interchange stations, on ticket gatelines at stations and standalone readers at most DLR & London Overground Stations and many London Underground & National Rail Stations near manual disabled gates and out of hours entrances at National Rail Stations. From January 2010 Oyster Pay as you go was introduced on all National Rail Services within London as prior only some services allowed it, Oyster Pay as you go is also valid at Watford Junction and in Thurrock with Travelcards for Zones W and/or G are loaded onto the Oyster Card. Oyster Cards can be topped up at all station in London and at one of the thousands of Oyster Ticket Stops in and around London.