Hey guys 🙂
Today is Sunday. Usually I listen to music or podcasts while I’m doing my housework. Luke’s English Podcast is the one I’m listening to recent times. Today I listened its episode on London underground and its rules for passengers. And you know what? I’d like to write a blog post combining my own experience of using the underground and also Luke’s suggestions. Who knows, there might someone is who planning to leave for London any time soon among you guys for good, for studies or for a short stay. So let’s not talk much in the introduction part and move to the post itself. Let’s go…
- London underground is officially called as Underground, however, Londoners call it Tube. Not because it’s easy to pronounce, but because it reminds the shape of tube;
- It has 11 lines linking 270 stations;
- Download the tube map in colour, B&W or in any other form.
- Details of construction , the length, its ranking among other undergrounds of the world and etc. information can be found on wiki.
More interesting and useful information waiting for us…
The fare is to paid depending on the zone/s you travel. In total, there are 9 zones, and as you go further from the centre fare gets expensive. There aren’t any ticket kiosks in every station. You are required to have an Oyster card to use London tube or any other public transport in London. You can top up the card online in advance or in the station using your bank card. If you have contactless bank card, then there is no need for an Oyster card. In both ways, you just touch your Oyster or Contactless bank card to the shaded area of the gate once you enter and second time you are getting out of the station, and there the fare will be deducted from your card based on the zones you travelled. An Oyster card can be ordered online and delivered to your address by post, or you can get one at the station or if you’re only temporarily in London you can ask your friends for one. For further information on fares, see this.
Travelling efficiently or unwritten rules
Using escalators: it is required to stand on the right hand side allowing the ones in rush to move on the left hand side. And a tourist who is not aware of this can stand somewhere in the middle with his map in his hand.
Never stop in the underground (except if you’re on the escalator and standing on the right), just move…move…, because whole London is coming after you. Of course if you want a newspaper headline with your picture saying there was a jam in the underground, then you could try that.
If you’re travelling during the rush hours and in order not to wait for the next train again, you better wait for the train at the spot where it exactly opens its doors. You might not be right if you think it is so easy as in Japan, where you can identify these spots easily. In London, you trust in your intuition and identify the spot. Okay, I’ll open the secret, every platform has yellow line and if you pay attention to this line, some parts of it have been slightly faded away. Yes, bingo, you got it right, you should wait for the train standing there.
The platform has two sides: entrance and exit. When it is crowded, the second secret of not missing the train and even getting a seat to sit: to wait for the train at exit side. Because, there are other clever passengers out there too who want to economize their time and getting off the train from near the exit side (these are the majority), when lots of people get off, lots can get in.
If you have to change line while travelling in the tube, believe me that will not be very pleasant experience. You have to travel to get from a line to another on escalators and also walk a bit or usually much more. The signs will be on top of the walls and also on the wall itself, so you just follow them.
From time to time, the drivers might go on job strikes resulting on some lines not to operate. It is advisable to check the internet for news once in the morning or before getting in the tube.
I repeat once again, never stop, just move and your speed should be as google maps walk speed. Actually, you better not worry about that, people before and after you will make your speed right.
Now let’s get on the carriage. It would be good if you have something to read (a newspaper, a book) or you can listen to music. Keep in mind that if you’re listening to the music on your iPod or phone, others don’t really have to hear its bits bits. Or if there is someone next to you listening to loud music, rather than asking him to down the music, you could try to move your fingers or your foot in the rhythm of the music to get his attention and smile sarcastically.
As for giving your seat to someone else, just be careful that you do know who is pregnant and who a bit fat. And also some elderly people might get offended if you give your sit to them, since in their soul they’re still 18.
In case you step on someone’s foot or push accidentally, ask forgiveness by saying “oh, sooorry” or “I’m so sorry”. In case someone steps on your foot or pushes you again ask forgiveness, yes you, but saying just “oh, sorry” short one with one “o” with a sincere smile, with surprised face meaning that person should ask forgiveness from you, will do.
Do not lean on the door, not just because it’s written like that, because in every station different side doors might open. Until you learn in which station which side door going to open, it might be the time for you to say goodbye to London.
Now I also say goodbye to you… until the next station… oops until the next post 😉
P.S. Source of the tube photo.
 Originally the post was written on 26 June 2016 in Uzbek and it’s the translation.