Monday, April 19News For London

Commuter satisfaction remains high despite overcrowded trains


Entrance to the Covent Garden underground station.| Photograph: Kuheli Biswas

Fast, overcrowded, unreliable, noisy, convenient… People from all across the world have an opinion on the London Underground. Especially the four million Londoners who use it to get around everyday.

On the morning that a tragic incident at the Victoria tube station caused major disruption to the morning commute of several Londoners, we asked them what they really thought of London’s iconic public transit service.

Interviews with the general public revealed that people were generally happy with the service that TFL provided with nearly all the interviewees commenting positively on the speed and overall reliability of the service.

This is in line with the latest Transport for London performance figures showing user satisfaction at 85%.

Regarding track failures and breakdowns, TfL data shows that overall track failures have been falling over the last three years.

Exceptions to this trend include the Bakerloo, Jubilee, Northern and Victoria lines with all four of these lines seeing increases in track failures over the same time period.

One commuter praised certain tube announcers who often add their own creative spin on their announcements. The commuter commented that they “really made her day” in reference to their “fun” announcements.

However, the most common criticisms made about the London Underground network were regarding the cleanliness of the stations and the overcrowding of the trains, particularly at rush hour.

It was reported that during morning peak hours the Northern, Central and Jubilee lines were the most crowded running at 130 per cent, 116 per cent and 115 per cent respectively.

One interviewee criticised the public transport system for the lack of accessibility on certain lines.

The Transport for London five year business plan contains solutions to some of the problems highlighted by the users of service.

The lack of accessibility on the Underground was an issue featured in the 2019/2020- 2023/2024 Transport for London business plan.

In the business plan, there is a commitment to making 34% of all tube lines step-free by 2020. 

Also, featured in the business plan is a commitment to introducing new trains into the system. The business plan claims that this will “frequency and increase overall capacity”.

The Elizabeth line due to be fully operational by 2021 will increase capacity by 10% and will have around 41 accessible stations.

Shashi Verma, director of strategy at TfL, said: “We are committed to making travelling by public transport in London as affordable and convenient as possible.