If we take a step back from always criticising the TFL for being uncomfortable or late by a few minutes or any other complaint we may throw at it, is this transportation system being taken too much for granted?

As we know, public transport is an essential part of many peoples’ day to day lives, but a lot of people have probably experienced difficulties with cancellations and delays, and this can put some people off and can encourage them to use cars or taxi’s. On top of this, alternatives such as cars and taxi’s are also an easier mode of commute than public transport, which can be due to many reasons such as comfort or similar / quicker travel times in some cases, but this raises the questions. How good or bad is the public transport in London, and can it be improved?

London’s trains during peak hours can be a pain when travelling, with everyone shoulder to shoulder and people bustling through the crowd, barely being able to move. On top of this, sometimes, there is some sort of disruption such as delays or cancellations. The London buses are a similar yet different story. During peak times, it can be inefficient with traffic blocking the roads and people constantly entering and exiting the bus, a common experience many go through everyday, including myself.

Although, saying everything is negative is showing injustice to the TFL, because at the end of the day, despite some inconveniences, it gets thousands around London from A to B each day in a decent amount of the time, which is probably the most important in my opinion. Usually delays and cancellations are backed up by other routes or the frequency such that you may only have to wait 10 minutes. On top of that, bus stops and train stations are scattered everywhere around London, allowing people to commute to the stop easily without too much travel to get there in the first place.

Despite this, some improvements can definitely nail down the constantly improving transportation system: for example, trams are a speedy way of commuting throughout Croydon and South London, and an expansion to these services in areas like Sutton and Central London would really put the icing on the cake and quicken commute for many people each day. Along with the trams, an issue with the cancellations can cause people to get to work or school late, so a simple and cheap solution such as a ticket machine that generates a slip with the transportation details with how many minutes late the service is to the usual and estimated can create an easy way to officially explain the reason for why the person is late. Oyster card users can also tap to present further details such as tap in time and if the service was late to arrive at the stop to pick the person up can also be a neat touch to create a more solid piece of evidence. Also, reducing irrelevant service during off-peak time can save money and resources which can be used elsewhere, out to improve peak travel times, for example, the 455 bus route in Wallington travels almost empty outside of peak work and school hours, so services such as these should be used as a springboard of experimentation and improvement for the wider range of transportation

In conclusion, there is no one way of improving the TFL, because it already has many gaps covered, but this imperfect beauty powering the travel of thousands each day is something that should be appreciated, because it fulfils its purpose well: getting you to your destination.