Transport for London (TfL) does a good job of providing technologies for us to get around the capital on time and find out where there are delays on the transport system. But getting a real sense of how it feels to be travelling on the Tube takes a bit more crowd interaction and this is where Tube Star comes into its own.
The Android application pulls in tweets from other users who can report on what is happening around them. Trains running through the London Underground can be hot, smelly, empty, entertaining and have funny drivers who brighten a journey with a joke here and there, but this doesn’t show up on a regular TfL update.
The content is a little sparse at the moment as the app is still quite new. But hopefully as users pick up the habit, it could be a neat way of finding solidarity during delays and other experiences.
Tube Star users can add all of these descriptions as supplement to TfL’s own Twitter information. The more people who use the app, the more colourful the reporting around the state of travel will be.
The app also provides a nice way to say thanks to people who commit random acts of kindness on the tube – like carrying buggies, giving up their seat or helping in other ways.
Though it’s hard to think of London’s Tube commuters as a ‘community’ when the rule of thumb is to avoid all eye contact, conversation or any other social interaction while travelling, it is a regular group of people doing the same thing each weekday.
Maybe the digital distance will help Londoners on the Tube talk to each other after all, just never face to face.
Image Credit: Kevan