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London’s ‘Night Tube’ has launched with weekend overnight service on the Central and Victoria lines, reports the NYT. The Jubilee, Piccadilly and Northern lines will be added later this year at a date to be announced. The first weekend did not see the expected incidents of drunken hooliganism.
Only a few subway systems around the world run round-the-clock service, weekend or otherwise. As critical as I am of New York City area’s MTA and PATH systems, I appreciate that while the wait can be long, there eventually (usually) is a night train.
When I studied in Tokyo, evening life revolved around partying salarymen and youths chasing the last train home. Missing it meant sleeping in a capsule hotel, an all-night theater playing films on loop at low volume, or slumping in a street corner.
Subways are generally easier than buses for tourists to understand and navigate so I applaud London for expanding the night. Remember that a tube trip in London can involve significant amounts of walking and escalators, so a measure of sobriety is recommended.