To help customers choose quieter times to travel around London, Transport for London (TfL) has updated its free TfL Go travel app to provide real-time information on how busy London Underground stations are throughout the day. This is intended to help build confidence and maintain distancing as much as possible as more people continue to return to public transport.
Available on both the iOS and Android versions of the app, the update uses aggregated and depersonalised data from TfL’s Wi-Fi network to provide customers with real-time information on how busy Tube stations are at any particular point of the day.
Historically, TfL has used ticketing data to understand travel patterns on the network, with quiet times data in TfL Go based largely on data from TfL’s Oyster and contactless ticketing system which records entry and exits at stations. This innovative update now allows TfL to factor in how busy platforms and interchange points are to overall crowding within a station.
Launched in 2020, TfL Go provides real-time train times and information in a mobile-friendly way to enable customers travelling on Tube, bus and rail services across London, including the quieter times to travel. It also suggests alternative routes and walking and cycling options. The app has regularly updated accessibility information available through a ‘step-free’ mode which provides an easy to navigate view of all stations that are step-free to platform or train.
As well as providing schedules and information to inform people travelling around London by Tube, bus or rain, the app also suggests alternative routes and walking and cycling options. It has regularly updated accessibility information available through a ‘step-free’ mode which provides an easy to navigate view of all stations that are step-free to platform or train.
Ben Gammon, TfL’s head of digital, explained: “We are proud to be able to bring this latest update to our TfL Go app and help make it easier for people to find out, in real-time, how busy our stations are and to see the quieter times to travel.
“By providing up-to-date information on their journeys, as well as detailed accessibility information, we can help make it easier for customers to move around the city as more people return to public transport.”
Jace Tyrrell, chief executive of New West End Company, representing businesses in Bond Street, Oxford Street, Regent Street and Mayfair, commented: “With visitors set to return to the capital’s streets next months, it is vital that we do everything we can to make their trips as safe as possible.
“The updated TfL Go travel app will give our customers a greater insight into what they can expect travelling around London, ensuring that they feel as safe as possible when returning to the West End to enjoy the world-renowned retail and leisure that has been so missed during the pandemic.
“With one in ten Londoners employed in the West End, it is vital that all our visitors continue to support this key part of the UK’s economy as we set out on our road to recovery.”
A near-normal level of service continues to operate across the TfL public transport network and a wide range of active travel options is available, including Santander Cycles and protected cycling and walking routes, especially in central London and the West End.
Passenger numbers across London are continuing to rise, with weekday Tube ridership now around 45 per cent of pre-pandemic levels and bus ridership across London now between 60-65 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.
Around 2.5 million people are using the network everyday, representing around 60 per cent of the number of people travelling before the pandemic. Ridership at weekends and off-peak is also recovering as Londoners again access the city’s bars, restaurants and other attractions as the government’s lockdown measures gradually ease and the Mayor’s “Let’s Do London” campaign attracts domestic visitors to the city and brings central London’s economy back to life.
Journey data from across all TfL modes will continue to be monitored so that TfL can communicate any changes to the quieter times to customers.