Monday, June 07, 2010

Tube v. Loop

From Annie Mole's London Underground Blog. Read the full post here.

I found this part of the post, copied below, quite fascinating. I wonder if similar thought is given to such matters in Australia. I do recall experimentation at our city stations with placement of ticket barriers when Metcard was introduced. At times though crowd movement, especially at Flinders Street, looks very messy to me.

Iain Huston from passenger space modelling, followed with an insightful talk on how the London Underground use computerised models to help our journeys. Although you might not think it, Tfl do value our time. In fact they've even measured how various travellers value time. I imagined that Tube commuters thought their time was most valuable. But they only value their time at £8 an hour, whereas a taxi passenger values theirs at a massive £31 an hour.

Good levels of service are also measured by how much space a person has to themselves. Your journey is actually perceived as better or faster, if there is less congestion, even if in reality it takes longer to complete.

London Underground study people's movement through Tube stations and can work out how to slow things down if certain stations get overly congested. Placement of ticket gates can make a big difference to passenger flow. The images below show how the ticket hall layouts at Euston were improved to stop congestion.

We learnt that unreasonable behaviour is also taken into account. Tourists going the wrong way, people finding short cuts are all put into the models to work out the best flow. Some stations are lucky as they have more 'trained commuters'. The ticket gates at Bank at the Waterloo & City line are used by 'model commuters' who are amongst the fastest travellers on the system, have their Oyster cards ready in advance, know where the best exits are & walk quickly.

The green dots are passengers arriving at the station and the red, those who are leaving the station. Before and post alterations are in order. The pink dots are lost tourists, station staff, beggars, prostitutes and buskers. Ok, the last sentence is a very wild stab in the dark.


  1. Anonymous3:42 pm

    Aren't the pink dots Gay's doing the beat?

  2. A capital G for gays Anon?

  3. Anonymous9:40 pm

    Cool. Is it real, or CGI fibs...

  4. Surely I am cynical enough Michael.

  5. Anonymous11:09 pm

    Sorry. Used to work for a Large Government Department that did things with Telephones. Theres a fancy "nerve centre" in the city, looks like a NASA control room. But with more screens. Most of the time its empty, controls done from somewhere else, or the clever big computers do it all in the background, softly humming to themselves...(sorry, got sidetracked there).. BUT - if VIP/Media are coming through, every available body is sat in front of a monitor looking busy. Doesn't matter whats on the screens...
    (...sigh.....) Yep, guess I am a cynical bastard. Had more practice,
    thats all.

  6. Michael, I know only too well about 'public display'.