Archive for June, 2012

Capital Idea

Saturday, June 2nd, 2012

I have a brilliant idea. I think I should maybe patent it.

Passing through my least favourite railway station earlier this week, I was offered a free walking map of London – the idea is to get people walking and reduce reliance on the public transport, and in the words of the map-giving-away person, “get ready for the games”. Transport for London have already accepted they don’t have the capacity for all the games spectators AND all the normal London people going to work, so they’re doing everything they can to ease the process.

I have an idea to help London Underground prepare for the games which may be even better: As anyone who travels by public transport regularly in London knows, the cheapest way to get around is with an Oyster card, a pre-loaded charge card with which you swipe on to a bus, or into and out of the Underground. The system keeps a record of the use of the cards, which is handy if you use one for work travel as you can get a printout from the internet and whack it in with your dodgy exes claim.

So, my master plan for the Olympic Summer is this: during the period when public transport is expected to he disrupted by Games crowds (which seems to start a month before the opening ceremony and finish two weeks after the paralympics), between seven and nine in the morning, and five and seven in the afternoon, you won’t be able to enter an Underground station except by using an Oyster card that has at least 100 journeys in the previous six months. That averages to just under four a week, which would easily cover London’s workforce, and make sure that most people can still get to work without much trouble.

Of course my plan isn’t perfect – it does nothing to help anyone who starts and finishes work outside the normal rush hour times, nor does it help anyone who hasn’t been working in London for very long. But it’s a start, and it’s a lot better than what we have now.