Just when you think you’ve got the tube sorted! Your relocation to London and tube education involves more than learning the difference between an Oyster Card and a Travelcard. When you are moving to London you need to learn to act like a Londoner and that means getting a bit of Tube savvy and ‘know-how’ so you are comfortable during your daily commute.
Taming the Tube
If you absolutely have to stand on the escalators, please make sure that you stand to the right side at all times. People move fast in London and while they are accepting of tourists ambling around the tube stations, you’ll only understand just how frustrating it is to be stuck behind a group of stragglers when you only have 30 seconds to catch your connecting tube in the morning.
Don’t claim your personal space as if you have a right to be there. There is nothing worse than someone with a newspaper spread out, legs taking up half the carriage and an attitude to match. You can fold your newspaper up in such a way that it does not disturb everyone around you.
Don’t lean on the poles in the center of the tube carriage. They are there for several people to hold onto at the same time, not for you to rest up against like the trunk of a tree. While we’re on the subject of picnics, it is not considered good tube etiquette to much away on your food in front of the entire carriage. If you must snack then make it something like a candy bar, not an egg mayonnaise sandwich.
Try to carry as little as possible on the Tube in terms of luggage. Backpacks tend to get in people’s way if you insist on keeping them on your back. Rush hour on the tube can get very crowded, bring a book, listen to music, (through your earphones!) and try to keep your wits about you. Relocation can be a challenge, especially if you are not used to living in a big city. Once you have the hang of how to use the tube, you’ll never be able to imagine using anything else.