U.K. users received a pleasant surprise in the morning when they visited Google’s U.K. homepage. Today, the search giant is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the London Underground, the city’s subway transit system.
The London Underground 150th anniversary Google Doodle features the Google logo rendered in colourful Tube lines. The famous Tube map was first designed by Harry Beck in 1931, and eventually introduced as the official public map in 1933. The doodle even uses the real names and colours of Underground lines.
The London Underground was opened to the public in 1863, with the first journey taking place between Paddington and Farringdon on the Metropolitan Railway, which now forms part of the Circle and District Line.
When it first opened, there were only seven stations. Today, the city’s subway transit system has 263 more stations. Nearly 1.17 billion passenger rides took place last year. According to the stats based on data from LU Performance Data Almanac, the Underground sees about 3.23 million daily riders, with 3.66 million on weekdays. Comparatively, the New York subway system delivered 1.64 billion rides in 2011.
The Tube’s anniversary is also being celebrated across the country today. The anniversary is being marked with a set of stamps, with London mayor Boris Johnson describing them as a ‘fitting celebration of London Underground’s rich heritage’.