Leeds isn't London, there's no question about that! However, Leeds is also far from the type of English countryside town that you've probably read in books or seen in movies. It's not exactly the most modern city outside of London, but it's not far from it as well. Leeds is an ordinary and contemporary place in West Yorkshire, meaning it has all the modern-day conveniences that the British capital has. Not to the least of which is, of course, public transport. You'd be surprised by how effective the many systems in Leeds are.
Paying for Public Transport in Leeds
The amount people pay for public transport in Leeds differs from person to person. A good example of an indicator is one's age. Children under five can travel free while those aged between five to ten only have to pay half of the fare. Students, on the other hand, regardless of age, only need to show a valid/school ID to get their respective discounts. Similar to London
, Leeds also has its own travel passes
and card to make paying that much easier. There's the M Card, which serves as a debit card of sorts, and a Day Saver card, which allows you to only pay £5.00 for public transport for the entire day.
Riding The Leeds Train
Argubaly the most common mode of public transportation in Leeds is taking the train. It's relatively similar to 'the tube' in London in that it travels throughout all of the neighborhoods of Leeds
. The central starting point is at Leeds Train station, located right at the heart of the city. From there, various lines travel to various other stations, especially those in Headingley, Bramley, Crossgates, Horsforth, and more. Ticket fares vary depending on the destination as well as usage of the aforementioned travel cars and passes. With that said, buying in advance is highly advisable.
Another popular option is to take the bus instead. For many people, this is the most convenient as there are countless bus stations throughout the city. In fact. you're likelier to get to your destination (or at least nearer to it) if you rode a bus than by train. The former has countless lines operating all over the city, which means there's always a good chance that there's one that's right smack where you need to be or, at the very least, only a hop and a skip away from it. Either way, taking the bus is also often cheaper than other public transport systems.
Cycling Around Leeds
Traveling by bike has also become a popular option for public transport in Leeds. Despite its largely urban infrastructure, many locals and tourists alike have come to rely on cycling to get to where they need to be. It helps that even though Leeds is a busy city, its location in West Yorkshire, a province in the English countryside, allows for better navigation through riding a bike. Fortunately, if you yourself don't have your own bike, there are now many bike rental services on offer in the city. You just have to watch out for where to pick them up and where to leave them when you're done!
Leeds Waterways Ferries
In terms of traveling from Leeds to other parts of Yorkshire and the English countryside, a common mode of transportation is by river taxi. In 2014, river taxis became available in Leeds for people who want to travel by water to get to nearby cities such as Liverpool, Rotterdam, and Hull. They vary in terms of service, time, and way of payment. Some accept credit cards while others rely exclusively on cash. Some would also prefer you book your ride in advance while others would accept the payment right then and there. Just make sure you did your research first before going on a river taxi.
Using Apps in Leeds
A great way to ensure that you don't make any mistakes with public transport in Leeds, you can rely on a transportation app
. There are many apps that originate and operate in the UK that you can use here. In getting a taxi, for instance, there's the ever-popular Uber
is also a nice program to use if you need information. From which bus or train line to take to how long your trip will be, this app is helpful in more ways than one. And yes, they even work in a countryside city like Leeds!
It may not seem like it, but Leeds can get pretty busy at times. Fortunately, the public transport systems are working just fine. Take any system you think will get you to where you need to be on time, and you won't have any problem at all!