It is estimated that the night service of the London Underground will lead to the creation of 500,000 jobs over the next fifteen years, while adding £6.4bn to the city’s economy.
Almost three years after the plan was first announced, night trains will ply on London’s underground networks, on Fridays and Saturdays, from tonight. The plan had been due since November, 2013, and was scheduled for execution in September, 2015. However, strikes by the staff over disproportionate pay had delayed the start of the night service by nearly a year.
The BBC reports that the number of weekend-passengers has increased by 70% since 2000. It is estimated that the night service of the London Underground will lead to the creation of 500,000 jobs over the next fifteen years, while adding £6.4bn to the city’s economy.
“Think of the theatres, the live music venues, the restaurants,” says the new mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, “I’m really pleased and proud that finally the Night Tube is here…that finally it’s going to happen.” Khan will be travelling on the first night train of the Underground from Brixton–on the Victoria line–later tonight.
— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) August 19, 2016
Presently, trains will be running on the Victoria and Central lines on the weekends. Trains will ply every ten minutes for the whole of the Victoria line, and between White City and Leytonstone on the Central line. Between Ealing Broadway and White City and between Leytonstone and Loughton/Hainault, the trains will run every twenty minutes. The Jubilee, Piccadilly and Northern lines are set to have their night trains running come the autumn of 2016.
Plans are underway to extend the service to parts of the Metropolitan (which is the oldest underground in the world), Circle, District and Hammersmith lines, including some parts of the London Overground, by 2017.
The passengers will be charged off-peak fares during the night service, and day-travel cards will only be valid until 4:30 a.m. About 100 policemen will be patrolling the stations, while buses will now function on eight routes for 24-hour-service to complement the underground service.