Information revolution at Snaresbrook

IMG_1364Snaresbrook passengers have, in the past few weeks, had a bit of extra help in deciding whether or not to squeeze their way on to a heavily laden Tube after it trundles down the line from South Woodford.

The dilemma is familiar – get on, despite the discomfort, or just wait for the next train. The risks are known to every commuter: one should always get on a train if one can, since any kind of delay might hit a later train. But on the other hand, the next train might have empty seats. What to do, what to do…

The newish development at Snaresbrook on busy mornings though is for the station announcer to tell the waiting passengers how full in percentage terms the next train – and the one after that – is. Listen, if you can, to this recording: Snaresbrook 20130226 08:02:57

The fact is that Transport For London has as much to gain as anyone from customers passengers avoiding crushed journeys – “regulating the service”, they would probably call it. And so better information about what is happening on the line is good for everyone.

Mike Smith, Central Line Stations’ performance manager, told Wansteadium:

“Our staff at Snaresbrook have made full use of station equipment to determine and advise customers of how full trains are, enabling customers to make their own decision about whether to jump on the train coming in or wait for another. I’m really pleased that customers have found this helpful, and we’ll keep looking at ways in which we can provide better information to help make the lives of our customers easier.”

What we don’t know is how the percentages are calculated. Is it by an assessment by station staff? Or by something more technical? Any Tubeheads are welcome to demystify matters.

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