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Lily

March 29th, 2022

How to Tackle Rush Hour Travel – from commuters

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Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Lily

March 29th, 2022

How to Tackle Rush Hour Travel – from commuters

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

How I’ve learnt to battle the cramped conditions and masses of people.

Thankfully for me, most of my classes avoid the morning or evening rush however, there have been moments when I’ve been caught in rush hour.

As a commuter, you get used to the travel, whether it be within London or if you’re further afield like me, you eventually settle into a routine. One thing, however, that can be somewhat overwhelming and chaotic at times is the dreaded rush-hour, especially with the existence of covid. Personally, I don’t have to take the tube, but I have a friend who does so I have consulted her for her best tips and experiences of taking the tube at rush hour.

But first, the national rail trains.


The route I use is southwestern, so naturally, I can only speak for my experience on this line in particular but I am sure it’s similar to the others.
Picture this, it’s 5:30pm, everyone just wants to get home, and the train is mainly filled with businessmen doing their evening commute. Struggling to find a seat is the main issue with this time of day, people put their bags on the seat next to them or they sit in the aisle seat in hope that no one will ask them to move over. Don’t be this person, as tempting as it may be to take up two seats it’s also unfair, if you were the one searching for a seat, you’d be cursing the people who refuse to move their bag – treat others how you would want to be treated. A good tip I have for almost ensuring you get a seat on a rush-hour train is, if possible, to get to the train as soon as possible. Apps such as Trainline often display the predicted platform before the station does, use this to your advantage. Also, walk down to the furthest carriages as a lot of people just fill up the closest carriages because they can’t be bothered to walk all the way down to the end. Of course, this is impossible in the morning when you may not be catching the train from its first station, but it is useful in the evenings.

Remember, commuting can be draining especially during these peak times. So, rather than forcing yourself to open your laptop and crack on with some work, bring a book or your headphone and find a way to unwind and chill.

Now for the tubes.

I have a friend that commutes to campus from East London and vice versa. One of the things she picked up quite quickly was to avoid the central line at peak times. Whilst the simplicity of walking down Kingsway to Holborn station appears tempting, the central line is renowned for its horrific conditions during rush hour. To avoid this chaos, she walks to Waterloo with me and catches the Jubilee line instead – despite the added 15-minute walk, it means she gets to avoid the packed central line.

Some more tips she has shared are:

 

  • Since the emergence of Covid-19, even though masks are no longer essential – they are still recommended and advised. On the tube where everyone is packed in together, it’s still worth bringing a mask to wear, you still want to avoid catching covid.
  • The ends of the carriages where the doors are often fill up really quickly, to avoid getting stuck in this stand in the middle of the tube where the seats are. This means you can have slightly more space and if someone gets up to leave, you have more chance of grabbing a seat.
  • Become familiar with the exits of the stations you use and try to board the train as close to these exists as possible. This means that when you leave you spend less time navigating your way through a sea of people and you will leave more efficiently.
  • Wait for the next train! Sometimes it’s not worth being the last one onto a crowded train, if you wait for the next one then you’ll be one of the first on. Even though it will still be busy, it won’t be as tough as squeezing yourself into the smallest gaps.
  • And finally, as I also mentioned, don’t put your bag on the seats or your back. If you put it on the ground between your legs, you’re freeing up more space for yourself and others.

So, these are mine and my peer’s tips for commuting at rush hour. Remember, although it may feel like everyone you know lives in accommodation, there’s actually a fair number of us who travel in and we’re always looking for ways to make our journeys easier.

About the author

Lily

My name is Lily and I'm a first year BSc sociology student.

Posted In: Student life

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