Mayor of London: Economy to Be Helped by Overnight Subway

London has billed itself as being a global city, the biggest financial center in the world and a hub of creativity to rival that of New York City.

Up until now, though, returning home from the city after midnight meant using the bus or calling a cab.

That has now ended. The London Underground has started overnight service for the first time ever, a move leaders of the city hope will make the capital of Britain truly a 24-hour city as well as bolster the local economy.

This new service runs only on the weekends and to start will only be available on a few well-traveled Victoria and Central lines.

However, the initiative reflects the growing population as well as cosmopolitan mentality that marks a coming of age for London that many in NYC regard as sleepy and quaint.

This is also a psychological step due to subways, metros and the Underground always being such totemic parts of any city.

One urban issue expert from the London School of Economics said they are the circulation system of any big city.

Economists like to mention that London already is a 24-hour city, with Michelin starred eateries, theaters in the West End and many trendy nightclubs that attract customers from around the world.

Thousands of doctors, maintenance workers and cleaners also have to work night shifts.

However, the expanded service on the Tube comes during a good time for London, which wants to reassure the rest of the rest of the world that it is open for business while welcoming worldwide tourists despite the recent vote in Britain to exit the European Union.

The efforts to maintain the city going 24-hours per day have produced £40 billion or $52 million in benefits to the London economy, and the service at night on the Night Tube could add an additional £77 million.

Unlike across the Atlantic in New York, where a subway system of four tracks is able to maintain operations while lines are being repaired at night, the two tracks London system previously meant the Tube was shut down from a few minutes following midnight until early morning to make daily changes to maintenance. Sunday has even more limited operational hours.

The managers of the London Underground now believe all the needed maintenance work can be completed on weeknights, giving them time to offer the overnight service on the weekend.

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