We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

ok, go ahead and laugh.. Bus question

Jacksonville, fl
Level Contributor
327 posts
26 reviews
Save Topic
ok, go ahead and laugh.. Bus question

I have never ridden the bus.... well public bus. so lets say I am walking around london and know there is a bus that will take me to the nearest tube. how do i find out when it comes and where the bus stops?

is there a map for busses and do i get it where i would get a tube map?

for example, if I am on Kings rd and elizabeth st and am exhausted and see a bus sign what am I looking for it to say? just the next tube station name?

Sorry to sound so dumb but I have to figure this out in detail for a 66 year old woman that will be traveling mostly by herself! thanks!

Likely To Sell Out
Stonehenge, Windsor Castle and Bath...
5,234 reviews
from US$125.50*
Likely To Sell Out
Making of Harry Potter Round-Trip...
440 reviews
from US$104.40*
Stonehenge, Windsor Castle, Bath...
2,072 reviews
from US$148.10*
Likely To Sell Out
Harry Potter Tour of Warner Bros...
628 reviews
from US$100.10*
Stanley, Falkland...
Level Contributor
33,023 posts
75 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: ok, go ahead and laugh.. Bus question

(Almost) All London transport infomation can be found here -

www.tfl.gov.uk

Buses, maps, routes, etc.

Beware the bus map is complex, but almost every bus stop (easy to identify, as it will have a line of patient people standing at it....) has a list of all the buses that stop there, and their schedule, as well as a summary of their route.

Most have a sign that says "This stop for buses TOWARDS Kensington (or wherever)"

But easier than any of the above, is just to ask a passerby. "Hi, I'm new in town and trying to get to the Tube....".

London has about 7 million people. Only about 5 know all the routes, and 2 post on here...

West London
Level Contributor
10,128 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: ok, go ahead and laugh.. Bus question

When you find a bus stop there will be a map on it of the local area and a list of destinations with letters on them. For example, it might say "Trafalgar Square - bus stop A" - look at the top of the bus stop's post and there will be a letter on the very top. If it's A then you stay there. If it's another letter then you locate bus stop A on the bus stop's map and go there.

Once on the bus you will see an electronic destination board at the front of the bus showing what the next bus stop will be, and usually a recorded announcement as well.

Buying tickets on board is expensive (£2 for any journey) so use an Oyster card or a paper travel card.

Buses are easy to use, and more flexible and enjoyable than the underground. Instead of getting off at the underground station you might prefer to stay on the bus and see the sights.

Upminster, United...
Level Contributor
11,284 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: ok, go ahead and laugh.. Bus question

>> almost every bus stop ..... will have a line of patient people standing at it <<

In central London that is more likely to be a mass of people rather than a nice British queue. :-(

If you see a bus, just ask the driver where they are going to.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
Level Contributor
56,620 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: ok, go ahead and laugh.. Bus question

You may be more than a little surprised at the sheer number of red buses plying London's streets. 'A public bus' may translate into a queue of a dozen of the things in convoy along Regent Street, but it may also mean you standing at the stop at Green Park thinking wherethehell is the number 9 towards Hammersmith?

Underground maps are free at all stations; most should have bigger fold out Central London Bus Maps as well. Just to get you in the mood... tfl.gov.uk/assets/…central-london-bus-map.pdf

Now that may well look like something drawn by a mad cartographer, but if broken down into smaller areas makes much more sense.

Consider the spider map for buses from King's Cross (yes, I've deliberately picked a busy station). There are more stops for services outside the yellow square, but concentrate on that square for the moment - but it's not to scale. Bus stops are marked as shown on the map, with red roundels on white for regular stops and white roundels on a red background for request stops (put out a hand at those stops when you see the bus coming). The stops do have signs with the numbers and directions of buses that stop there, and there is a lollipop at each with the lettered designation of the stop. The designations repeat, so there are stops T, M, C etc all over London - you'll just have to take each major stop as an individual entity.

tfl.gov.uk/tfl/…kingscross-2150.pdf

…photobucket.com/albums/…RedBus.jpg Although the number 14 now goes to Warren Street and is (sadly) no longer a Routemaster but a standard double decker, you can see the destination blind at the front of the bus. Nearly all buses have them, showing the destination, route number and a few of the main stops between start and terminus points. Some blinds now just show the number and the destination, but as long as you know that you'll be able to hop on the right bus. The 15 towards Blackwall (or the Routemaster towards Tower Hill) heads to St Paul's and the Tower; the 15 towards Paddington will make its way to Trafalgar Square and Regent Street.

If you do a bit of homework you'll find using the buses fairly easy. Most Underground stations have small leaflets with information about 'Continuing your journey from Aldgate East' for example - a small map of the local area plus the immediate area's spider map with bus stops clearly marked - and a list of what buses travel to what destinations from those stops. Very handy to tuck in a bag for reference if you don't want to carry the big Central London map.

Bigger stops will have spider maps as well; I promise you you will not be the only person gazing at the map seeking guidance. Do note that some maps are for Night services though - they're often a light blue background and will be marked for Night buses.

One way streets may give you headache, but persevere and you'll find that stop: Tottenham Court Road is one way towards King's Cross, but buses heading to the West End and beyond travel along Gower Street. Seek and you will find.

Hertfordshire
Level Contributor
126 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: ok, go ahead and laugh.. Bus question

Your question really isn't as silly as you think! My 19 year old nice, very well travelled by plane across many continents, had no idea how to get on or off a bus when she first went off to Uni. She also had to idea how to read timetables.

Anyway, I digress!

We have now told you how to find and get on a bus but we should also tell you how to get off them :-)

When you are approaching your stop you will need to ring the bell (usually a yellow button found on upright hand rails) to alert the driver of your request.

It may even be fun to get on a bus and follow it to the end of the route and then cross over and come right back, You will get to see lots of interesting sights and places that you would miss underground!

London, UK
Level Contributor
7,040 posts
208 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: ok, go ahead and laugh.. Bus question

As bus stops are more frequent than tube stations, if you see where you want to get to just after a bus stop (and it happens to all of us on bus routes we are not fmiliar with), just get off at the next stop and walk back.

I echo what others have said, even regulat bus-using regulars who know their own local services have no idea about those in other parts of the capital. However, I have neverseen anyone using their own fold up bus map. We tend to use the maps and diagrams at bus stops and ask other people waiting.

NY, USA
2 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: ok, go ahead and laugh.. Bus question

Hi,

I recently came back from London.

I discovered that Information kiosks (there is on eat Victoria statioon and the one at Waterloo station) have bus maps. Sometimes they do not display them - you would have to ask for bus map. I found this map (for central London) to be very helpfull. They are also free.

Once I discovered London buses, I almost regretted using any tour company - waste of money.

Also, please, remember that bus stop is on opposite direction (compared to majority of countries).

Enjoy the ride.

London
Level Contributor
2,215 posts
47 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: ok, go ahead and laugh.. Bus question

Unlike London's Underground lines (which can just about be compressed into a comprehensible map), London's bus routes are numerous and highly complex. Even as a fairly regular bus user, I only know in detail of the one or two routes which is use regularly - wouldn't have a clue on details for the others. If I want to plan a route I would always consult the TFL (Transport for London) website first.

If you are out and about already, every bus stop will have a map, showing the buses that stop there, and where they are going.

New York State
Level Contributor
169 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: ok, go ahead and laugh.. Bus question

I would add to the information you've received here (with which I agree) that, as confusing as it seems now, once you're on the ground in London it is really much easier.

To the extent that you know in advance where you'll be and where you'll want to go, use the journey planner on the TfL web site to find the best combination of buses and tubes (it will also list walking, trains, and other services). The journey planner has capsule maps and, most important, tells you which lettered stop to use for any bus.

The journey planner works best when you can specify date and time, so that it can take into account the frequency of service on each route as well as any planned interruptions. But it is useful even if you don't know the exact date and time - just make sure not to put in a weekday if your journey will be on the weekend, and try to use the approximate time of day.

Hampshire, United...
Destination Expert
for Amesbury, London
Level Contributor
7,027 posts
56 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: ok, go ahead and laugh.. Bus question

Until a few years ago, I rarely used the buses as I didn't know where they went. One day, as I walked out of Waterloo station (towards the Shell building / London Eye way) there was a little stall where they were selling London maps. I needed a map, so bought one and was delighted to see on the reverse a Bus map. Now I take this little map with me everytime I go to London, and it's been so useful! Falling to bits now, so I'll need to buy a new one soon.

Bensons MapGuides "London Map Bus Map and Guide for Visitors" At the time it cost £1.95. A bargain!