L’app It Up: Tube Exits


Where do you get on to get off right? In this second piece in L’app It Up, our guides to the best apps for Londoners, Sam Frankl reviews Tube Exits – the app that helps you get ahead of the crowds and get there first.

Download here for iPhone

During the summer of 2012, when London was in the grips of Olympic fever, a valuable lesson was learned. It was delivered by the British cycling team and revolved around appreciation for the ‘aggregation of marginal gains’. Tesco has another way of putting it: ‘every little helps’. It was a bit of a foreign concept to a city that tends to think big and move fast.

To many non-Londoners, Tube Exits‘ contribution to the aggregate may seem too small to register. To any Londoner who’s ever been on a Central Line train, however, this may well change your life. Now I’ve set your expectations suitably low, let me explain: this is a piece of software which has calculated where best to enter, exit and sit on a tube carriage so as to minimise the hustling milieu of busy underground stations.

I chose to subject myself to a typically arduous interchange to demonstrate:

Old Street-Bank-Oxford Circus-Liverpool Street

Prior to entering Old Street station I entered the journey into Tube Exits and, as directed, entered the southbound Northern Line train on the 6th and final carriage. I stood by the opposite doors and waited, when they opened, I was standing plum in front of the central line pathway. At Bank I entered the 4th/5th carriage and stood by the same door I entered. Once again, I was deposited firmly in front of the appropriate exit. To return to Liverpool Street during peak hours I was instructed to board the 1st carriage, the 7th at non-peak times. I exited by the same door, and, by this time, trusting my instructions implicitly, I walked straight ahead without so much of a glance at the directions overhead.

The rest of my day passed in a blur of happiness. My shoulders were un-bruised, my forehead dry, my shirt unstained by errant coffee spills. I foresee this bliss lasting approximately two months. At which point the entire smart-phone using population of London will have downloaded the app and certain carriages may well become holding pens for the overly efficient.


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