London's long-awaited Night Tube service will finally launch across the Central and Victoria lines this evening (19 August). The 24-hour service was first announced by former Mayor of London Boris Johnson back in 2014 and was scheduled to roll-out in September 2015.
But after a series of disputes over pay and work conditions between Transport for London (TfL) bosses and the unions, including the RMT, TSSA, Aslef and Unite, the project was delayed.
The capital, under new Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, will now be able to enjoy the first phase of the Night Tube launch before the 24-hour service is extended to the Northern, Piccadilly and Jubilee lines in the autumn.
The project will bring London in line with other major cities, such as New York and Berlin, which run 24-hour metro services, while supporting 2,000 permanent jobs and boosting the economy by an estimated by £360m.
"The Night Tube will make life easier for everyone, particularly night-shift workers getting to and from work," said Steve Griffiths, chief operating officer for London Underground.
"It will cut journey times, create jobs and boost the economy. The safety and security of everyone working on or using the Night Tube is our top priority.
"Our staff are highly trained and experienced to deliver the new services, every station will be fully staffed and controlled, and we have invested in a visible presence of 100 police officers and additional police community support officers to assist customers."
Khan has committed £3.4m ($4.4m) extra funding for the additional police officers to patrol the Night Tube, while TfL has launched eight new bus routes to complement the 24-hour service.
"The safety and security of Londoners is vital, and it's why we've invested in new police officers on the Tube and it's why we're bringing in these brand new 24-hour bus services," the Mayor of London said.