11

Neither Google Maps nor Traveline.info seems to consider neither Heathrow Express nor cabs. Is there any service that would?

  • Try Rome2Rio. You'll find it referenced on a number of questions here. The link goes to a search for Heathrow to Trafalgar Square and includes both Heathrow Express and taxis, amongst others – user90371 Aug 20 at 21:21
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    Rome2Rio sometimes has flaws, although it may depend on settings. I know that from the airport near me it sends people trying to get to Watford to see the Harry Potter Studio tour on a very strange route involving multiple changes because it’s a shorter route, rather than going north 1 mile to the bus exchange and getting an express bus. – Sarriesfan Aug 20 at 21:54
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    I just tried google maps and put Heathrow Terminal 3 to Croydon and: 10:56 AM—12:14 PM Walk Train Heathrow Express Walk Underground Circle Hammersmith & City Train Thameslink. So Heathrow Express was suggested and Cab would just come under the times for a car journey. – Ryan McDonough Aug 21 at 9:55
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    Unclear what you're asking. Google maps considers both Heathrow Express and car (which for speed is essentially the same as a cab). – AndyT Aug 21 at 15:32
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    Fastest in London is always a crapshoot. Cabs can get snarled in traffic, trains can stop on the rails for extended periods for no apparent reason, busses likewise. The best you can do is pick one and hope for the best. Cabs are mostly if you're rich, don't want to bother finding your own way somewhere, and/or just don't want to ride transit with the proletariat - they're usually not the fastest way around. – J... Aug 21 at 18:44
28
+100

Citymapper, also available as an app for iOS and Android, has never failed me in London or other large cities where it is available. Cabs, Uber, Tube, buses, Heathrow Express, cycling, walking, I don't know of any mode of transport they don't cover, at least in London. The mobile app (but not the website) even finds a combination of public transit and cars-to-hire (scroll to the bottom of possibilities offered):

enter image description here

It also shows you the cost and the time of any alternative routes it finds, the best place to be on trains, as well as the best entrances and exits for tube stations. And it calculates time for transfers inside the stations.

It's my most important app whenever I'm there.

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    Note Citymapper is not this awesome everywhere, of course it relies on data provided by the transit agencies, I tried to answer travel.stackexchange.com/q/135800/4188 with it but apparently the data is simply not there because the "wheelchair accessible" section is not shown in Seattle (or Vancouver). – chx Aug 21 at 7:48
  • In the UK it only supports London and Birmingham: no other cities and not intercity transport, so it's pretty limited - but seems good if it covers your journey – Chris H Aug 21 at 8:32
  • @ChrisH Doesn't Manchester count? :) Yes, it isn't available everywhere, but where it is, it's fantastic. – Lizzan Aug 21 at 8:35
  • @Lizzan it didn't tell me about Manchester, but the mobile website was too slow to poke around too much - I was mainly checking whether it covered Bristol. It's a good answer to this specific Q, but I think there's a more general one to ask. – Chris H Aug 21 at 10:34
  • ... I've posted it though I'm not completely happy with how I've asked it – Chris H Aug 21 at 10:57
9

The simple answer is that depending on the address Heathrow Express or a taxi may not be the fastest way to get to your address and routing apps are taking that into account.

London is highly congested, road speeds are often 8mph for cars, so taxis can get stuck in that traffic.

Heathrow Express goes into Paddington Station on the western side of central London, which is fine if you have accommodations on that side of the town. However if your destination is elsewhere by the time you have got off at Paddington and then found the correct route to continue your onward journey the time saved by using the Express can be eaten up.

If you can give us some idea of where the address is further it may be possible to give more focused help.

  • Let's try the Lea Bridge Library. The answer very well might be HEX, Bakerloo to Oxford Circus, Victoria to Walthamstow Central and then a quick cab ride. This is the sort of route nothing automated finds. – chx Aug 20 at 22:11
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    Or Piccadilly Line from Heathrow to Green Park change to to the Victoria Line to Walthamstow Central and Taxi from there. – Sarriesfan Aug 20 at 22:17
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    Google Maps says it's 1:04 to Walthamstow Central via HEX and Bakerloo and Victoria vs 1:14 via Green Park. However, that's not reliable as transfers take time which Google Maps doesn't take into account. And of course it's much cheaper as well. Thanks! – chx Aug 20 at 22:35
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    TFL (qv) says 1h30m using HEX, Bakerloo, Victoria, and the number 58 bus. It does include transfer times. – MadHatter Aug 21 at 5:45
  • @chx google does take into account transfer times for average walking speed, you can see on my answer it's including 13 minutes of walking. – Ryan McDonough Aug 23 at 9:55
8

On Google Maps the Heathrow Express will show up if you specify a terminal to depart from.

Google Maps

As for Taxi journeys, time wise those would mostly be equivalent to the Car timings on google maps.

enter image description here

  • This is a good answer. Is there a way to combine car/public transit into a single search, for times when the underground is faster in one segment, and an Uber is faster for another? – axsvl77 Aug 21 at 15:04
  • @axsvl77 I think that could be a computational nightmare - as you'd be constantly needing to check traffic etc to go "Okay, go to the next station then get a train, then get off the train after 3 stops and get another taxi to this other station etc" It would also need to take into account waiting times for taxis etc which are impossible to account for. I understand the want for this but I'd suggest sticking to one or the either, the benefits of jumping between would most likely be negligible. – Ryan McDonough Aug 21 at 15:26
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  1. As comments mention Rome2rio is a surprisingly good solution within a city as well. I never considered it for anything but intercity travel.
  2. Google does find the Heathrow Express but you need to kind of force it: if you just enter Heathrow Airport it won't find it but if you enter say Heathrow Terminal 5 then it will. It also suffers from the problem of trying to find the best solution at the minute and a cross London trip has so many solutions that a better one five minutes later will be crowded out. Peruse the schedule explorer option. Also don't forget Google Maps doesn't add time for underground transfers which can be long (or not) -- this adds a lot of manual work to the search. These 3D maps of Underground stations can help.

As for using a cab, it's very likely a car can't beat the underground so getting as close to your destination as you can with it is a good idea and then swapping to a cab might be good but you need to manually search the station in the vicinity of your destination. Search for your destination first in Google Maps, then click the [x] clear search button and enter underground station to find the underground stations in the vicinity. Also note the difference between the traditional Hackney carriages and Private hire (minicabs).

2

Transport for London's journey planner at https://tfl.gov.uk/ takes all public transport in London into account, so includes the Heathrow Express (as well as more outre options such as the river bus and the cross-Thames cable car).

It doesn't, however, include cabs, probably because these are very expensive and of highly-varied travel times. The latter complaint could also be made of buses, but TFL's are all fitted with location trackers so TFL has a good view into congestion insofar as it affects the buses. This doesn't solve the entire problem as specified, though; sorry.

  • It also sometimes doesn't show whether particular rail services are running late or have been cancelled - frustrating when you are trying to combine TfL and non-TfL options within the same journey. – user2002 Aug 21 at 14:19
  • @user2002 I've never found that, but living in Cambridge I don't use it as much as a local; I defer to your experiences in this matter. – MadHatter Aug 21 at 16:09

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