A joke one hears a lot these days in London. Surely, lot of people are excited but for many the weeks of the games will be a little (or medium sized) catastrophe. Transport wise.
For weeks already you can see advertisements in the tube telling the locals to please please ask their boss to allow them working from home. And the homepage of the London public transport “tfl” has an own page informing what stations are so called „hot spots“ during the games. Which is basically every station within zone 1.
But London authorities have also good advises for Londoners who have not the luck to have a boss allowing them to work from home. An own page with alternatives and advises is set up by the tfl. From „leaving at different times“ to „why don’t u take a bike“ (great idea considering that on many roads will be exclusive lanes for olypic cars which means that traffic will be even worse) or the revolutionary „walking might be faster“. Especially the last advise is one which counts for almost every day during the peak, when hundreds of people waiting in the station for the arrival of completely full trains – and watch them leaving the station again as noone really could find a place to squeeze in. A short chaos starts when a few people try to fight their way out of the train while new passengers do everything to exchange the place in the hot station into the even hotter train just to stand cheek to cheek with another poor sweating fellow trying to make it home after work. Not many are lucky enough to get to that stage anyhow. Interesting enough that even though people get very close in the tube every day, London still faces such a high percentage of singles. Maybe because close contact is not always a big support in starting a conversation – at least not when drops of sweat slowly follow gravity down the face and back of the other person.
And to all this will be added roughly 1 million people extra during the games and temperatures of up to 30 Celsius.
But as Londoners got used to these situations, they are not easily shocked by the idea of thousands of tourists (with bag packs) entering the trains additionally, as well as the news that „Greater Anglia announces that some trains will not stop at Stratford, with temperature in London expected to exceed 30C“ does not create more reaction than a mild smile. ).
Also the news that the security might not be that well organized (The Guardian wrote on Friday 13 July 2012: G4S has got a £284m contract to provide 13,700 guards, but only has 4,000 in place. It says a further might use the publicity of the games to attack crowded places. If there is a real threat for this is hard to say, those who spread the rumours at least do not look to worried themselves.
But back to the topic, the Olympics and public transport.
The best advise I did not mention yet. It is to be found on the tfl webside and might be the one that really helps during the games: Consider reducing your travel.
Thanks for telling guys!