Tips for the London Commuter

Mar 27, 2020 11:25 PM ET

With the capital having entered a period of extended lockdown, it’s a good opportunity for most Londoners to reflect upon their commuting habits. Are you taking the right routes to work, and are you making the best from your journey?

What transport should I use?

Transport for London provide a range of ways of getting from one place to another, along with all of the private options. There are trains, buses, taxis, and, of course, the iconic tube system. If you plan your journey well and take advantage of multiple forms of transport, then you might find that you’re able to slash a few precious minutes from your overall commute, and that you have the flexibility you need when one of those services is interrupted.

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There’s no worse feeling than getting to the station in the morning to find that the line has been part-closed for planned maintenance. You won’t be able to explain to your employer that you were caught unawares – because planned maintenance is, well, planned!

The best way to stay on top of closures of this sort is with the help of the right smartphone app, which will send you notifications whenever a closure is imminent.

Season Tickets

If you’re a regular commuter in London, then the purchase of a season ticket can make good economic sense. This way, you’ll pay a fixed fee and have unrestricted access to the entire city. Of course, this might make sense for many Londoners, but it’s worth looking at exactly how much you’re spending on the tube. Daily trains to Orpington could eventually add up for example, enough to warrant the investment; if you’re just moving a few stops through zone 3 every Tuesday, then things might be difficult to justify. It’s important that you make a choice that’s tailored to your circumstances.

Download the TfL Oyster app and use it to manage your spending. You can also use the app to create an account to pair with your card; this way you’ll be able to ask for a refund or a replacement in the event that the card should go missing.

Don’t neglect walking

Of course, the cheapest form of transport in the entire city is your own two feet. London is a great city to walk around, and doing so will help you to naturally insert a little bit of exercise into your day. If you’re commuting for several hours a day, like many Londoners, then replacing the entire trip with a long walk might be impractical – or even impossible. But that isn’t to say that you can’t cut small portions out, save money, and keep physically active at the same time.

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