Night-based services may be differently branded compared to daytime services, such as in London, where overnight buses are prefixed with an "N" for "night". Another common way of distinguishing them from their daytime counterparts are dark-colored line numbers. Some cities apply a different fare structure from their daytime services. There are also services that allow users to alight at a requested place of stopping rather than at specific locations, in deference to passenger concerns about safely walking long distances.
24-hour, continuous rapid transit operation is practiced in some cities, most notably the subway in New York City, which essentially renders night services unneeded. Many of New York City's buses also have 24-hour operation; and around the world, night services may be provided by virtue of 24-hour services on daytime routes, as does Berlin on its "Metrotram" routes. Where they exist, night service is generally much more limited in geographic coverage than daytime services, with fewer lines and routes over entirely different paths to daytime services; or the night terminus may be in a different place. Networks may run longer routes than daytime services, sometimes combining two or more daytime routes, which may use interchanges to reach the same outlying districts. Night services usually also run less frequently.
Because of much longer intervals between services than during the day, night routes often offer guarantee transfers to other lines or transit modes (such as regional and intercity rail). To ease planning, many cities use a central hub where all lines converge at a specific time. This makes the line map of many night services look like a wheel with radial lines to the center and some additional lines connecting the outer ends (or running along a ring road outside of the city center).