TFL Want To Make Your Commute Worse

They've taken away the one satisfying moment in our morning journey to work

TFL Want To Make Your Commute Worse

by Jazmin Kopotsha |

There are few pleasantries to be had on one’s commute. And it’s no secret that the process of simply getting to and from work is a particularly outrageous on in the city of London. So outrageous, that we’ve all surpassed the point of any real (and just) shock, stress, or despair at how overcrowded and sweaty the whole thing is. Instead, we mindlessly contort our bodies to mimic the shapeless space between two equally contorted strangers and side step into another claustrophobia inducing tube carriage without so much as a pitied peep at the poor family of tourists whose gaudy throng of coordinated luggage is being trampled over by the next wave of commuters making their way from the adjacent platform.

It’s shit, really. But there is one thing that gives a few of us who battle our way through the TfL tube network reason to smuggle a sneaky smirk into work in the morning. One thing disguises the dehumanising process of being herded on and off of various moving metal contraptions with a small element of conscientious intention. One thing that gives us the illusion that we too can win at our commutes, that we have an ounce of control over just how shit the sixteen-stop journey from Balham to Camden Town will be each day. And that, compadres, is all in knowing where to stand on the platform.

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When you do the same journey every day for a while, if you’re clever about it, you can pin point the best place to stand on the platform for any and all scenarios. Changing from the Victoria to the Bakerloo at Oxford Street, you want to be somewhere in the middle, mate. Jumping from the Jubilee to the Overground at Canada Water? You probs want to be towards the back. Of course, apps like Citymapper then came along and essentially took away that singular feeling of accomplishment we once savoured whenever we managed to avoid negotiating incoming and outgoing footfall at really busy stations. All those of us who were anal enough to learn were left with was door strategy. That’s right: strategy.

Have you ever wondered how those cool, calm and collected people on congested platforms remain, cool, calm and collected through the havoc of being reminded to stay behind the yellow line but also make sure you’re in a position to actually get on the train? These people are the kings and queens of the underground railways. These people know exactly where the doors are going to open. These people are the first to gracefully stride into the carriages that are more bearably busy than the others. These are the people who get seats on tubes, you guys.

I was once proud to be one of these smug, anal, tube trotters. But I fear that our time at large is about to come to an end. Transport for London is trialling a system where green markings are painted on tube platforms to indicate where the train doors will open, reports The Guardian. Ridiculous, if you ask me. But okay. A TfL spokesperson said: 'It’s a visual cue to get people to walk all the way along the platform and to show you where the doors open. It’s about reducing congestion.'

And, okay. I get it. Congestion=bad. Congestion=dangerous, in fact. But are these stupid green door zones really the answer? This is as stressful as the ‘let's let everyone stand on both sides of the escalator’ trial of 2016. The London commute is the Hunger Games of Great British Travel, and some of us rely on having a competitive edge. An edge that we're tirelessly perfected over weeks of carefully observing how many paces to the left of the emergency telecom system to stand in order to claim that last remaining seat on the Victoria line at Stockwell. If you take that from us, what will we have left TfL? Besides sweat stained shirts, expensive Chiropractic bills and a case of commuter rage that is no longer heightened by slow walkers and people with backpacks, but rather glaring green no-stand zones THAT PEOPLE WILL DEFINITELY STAND IN ANYWAY?

**Like this? You might also be interested in… **

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Follow Jazmin on Instagram @JazKopotsha

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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