London is a major city, and it can be daunting at first to navigate your way between your flat, Faraday House, and special events. However, London’s public transit infrastructure is world-leading: safe pedestrian areas, cycle highways, iconic red buses, and the impressive underground Tube trains are all accessible options for your transportation needs.

Transport for London is a central system operating all of the capital’s public transit options. The TFL Oyster Card is a permanent ticket valid for all official buses and trains. All students registered at Syracuse London receive a student Zone 1-2 photocard for the semester – granting them unlimited travel around central London.

In order to receive their photocard, students must apply online. They must then visit the Operations Office (SR106) to top up their travelcard. All students will receive an email with instructions about how to apply for an Oyster during our Arrivals & Orientation period.


Using OysterCards

On the Tube and train, you must touch into the automated barriers at the start of your journey and out at the end. On buses, you only need to tap in when boarding.

If you travel beyond Zones 1–2 on the Tube or in a train, you will need to top-up your Oyster with additional pay-as-you go funds to cover the one-time cost. This can be done at any Tube station. You will not be able to travel with a negative balance.

You can learn more about how to use the Tube and red buses like a pro on the TFL website.

You might also find phone apps like

Taxi and Minicabs

It is easy to be tempted by a ‘black cab’ taxi as they are so readily available, but be mindful of the cost involved: They are one of the most expensive ways to travel around the city, particularly if you can’t share the cost with others. Other licensed minicab companies often provide more competitive rates. You can text “CAB” to 60835 or see this page for contact details of nearby providers.

Taxi safety:

  1. Book your minicab by phone, e-mail or a licensed office, and pre-negotiate the cost of your journey.
  2. Always check that it’s your car: Can the driver confirm your name?
  3. Sit in the back and hold your mobile phone in your hand in case you need to make an emergency call.
  4. Always let someone else know where you are and who you are with.


featured image by Brian Lehman, 2007