I have a love/hate relationship with the Underground. I love the fact that I can hop on and off a tube to get about town, that you only have to wait a couple of minutes until the next one arrives, and how it certainly helps avoid hefty taxi charges at midnight. I hate just how much I rely on them to get around and obviously those unpleasant crowded journeys. So when a tube strikes gets confirmed *insert despair emoji*.
As the 24-hour tube service gets closer, making it an even more relied upon travel option, it looks like we’re going to be at the mercy of several union strikes with the next one starting at 6.30pm tomorrow. I was pretty disorganised for the last strike, assuming that I know the city quite well so it’d be fine to decide my route as I walk out the door. The result was a long journey (especially on the way home after work). I’m determined to be more prepared this time around so I’ve searched the internet and recalled past recommendations. Here’s what I found…
1. City mapper app – iTunes / Android – I’ve frequently been told that this is a life-saving app which not only provides routes based on your current location, it can also tell you how long it will be until the next bus arrives. I haven’t downloaded it before as my phone is clogged up with photos but if there’s one time to get ruthless and start shifting the MBs, now is it. (The app also works in other cities, handy for city breaks!)
2. Walk London map – I’ve seen this map pop up every time there’s been a tube strike but I’ve never properly taken notice of it. It basically gives you an average journey time between tube stations so you can decide if you could walk all or parts your usual route.
3. TfL bus maps – The bus section of the TfL website is fairly intuitive, however, never fully trust that it will give you the most efficient bus route and always test out a few different options rather than the one it gives you. There’s nothing worse than choosing a bus route and then 5 minutes later realising it goes around the houses. If you’re just in central London, this map is useful (they were handing them out at tube stations today), although it doesn’t give you journey times so I’d check at the bus stop or via the TfL website.
4. Microsoft Office apps – iTunes/ Android – I’ve just discovered that you can get a host of Microsoft Office apps for your mobile or tablet for free. This includes Outlook (possibly a handy way to separate work and personal emails), Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. If your work uses Office 365 I’ve heard that One Drive and One Note are helpful organisational tools to use on the go.
5. Calorie-counting tube map – Ditch the gym session and walk (or run) your tube route. This map by Treated.com and GP Wayne Osbourne provides a calorie count (for the average person) for each distance between tube stations across the entire network. Read more about the map here.
How do you tackle tube strikes? It would be great to gather a few more tips!
(If you want to know what the tube strikes are about, this article on the Telegraph was a good one.)