Public Transport Can Be Difficult

by - January 22, 2014

Last month I had a job interview set one day for 10am. It required two tube changes (so three lines in total). I thought the time was good as it would hopefully mean the majority of the rush hour crowd would be out before I needed to travel. However, because I’m a paranoid (and perpetually early) person I left my house at 8am in the middle of rush hour anyway. When I left my home station the status board said there was a good service across the line.

By the time I got about 3 stops down the line to my first change the line I needed to change to was expecting severe delays. So I kept going a couple more stops where I could have changed to another line, but it wasn’t running either!

So I exited the station and tried to get a bus. Apparently everyone else in the station was needed to do the same as there were at least 75 people waiting at this bus stop. I was luckily positioned a bit closer to the first bus that stopped (as it was behind another one) and as soon as I stepped into the bus the driver covered the oyster validator and said no more people and threatened to shut the doors (which is was standing in the middle of!). The crowd waiting behind me just almost didn’t let me off! I'm not actually sure what is appropriate commuter behavior in this situation as despite plenty of experience with transport, it's almost never during rush hour!

I waited for the next bus and it was almost as full as the first before it even stopped and I wasn’t as well positioned. Another one came and was about the same.

At this point I figured a bus wasn’t much of an option and I had just about an hour to get to my interview. I was frankly happy that I had left so early. I started looking for cabs, but none of the black cabs had their lights on and to be perfectly honest I’ve not had much practice hailing cabs so I wasn’t sure how well I’d fare going that route.

So I checked my Uber app to see how far away the nearest car was and it said 11 minutes. I figured chances of finding a cab in that time were slim...and the crowd around the bus stopped seemed to just grow despite regular busses….so I requested an Uber car and stood around to wait.

Once it arrived I immediately felt better as I knew I’d get there on time. We hit a fair amount of traffic...but still moved faster than the bus would have. After about 25 minutes we arrived at the place for my interview. And lo and behold I was early. But I’m used that.

I walked up the road so see if there was a nearby cafe or something as I didn’t want to go in too early but didn’t see much. So I just walked around and played a bit on my phone. It was a fairly deserted street...although there were some Barclays Bikes nearby...shame I didn’t know/aren’t brave enough to cycle on London streets or that could have been a pretty good solution. However, I was fine and after killing a few minutes it was only about 10 minutes until my appointment so I figured I could navigate the reception area and find the office I needed and not be too early.

Coming out of the interview the tube line I would have used was still delayed/not running so I just took a bus into central London to where my local line stops and went home that way. The only reason I didn’t use this combination to start with was because I thought it would take too long with the central London traffic! But if I were to get the job might just be the perfect solution...and would mean lovely views of London everyday!

But anyway, just one example of a minor transport crisis and thankfully a minicab company provided a viable solution. And as a bonus, when my receipt came through from Uber it was £0.00!! The ride was £10.96 and they round down to the nearest pound, so it was £10...and then I had a £10 referral credit from when my husband signed up and took his first ride with them. Not a bad deal and luckily was cheaper than the bus!

If you are interested in signing up with my referral link, when you take your first ride we'll both get £10**! (It used to be the new user got that off their first ride and I'm not sure if it's still that or if it's off your second ride, but either way it's free money that could come in handy!) My link is here: Or if you download the app you can just enter 56l1r I believe. And as a bonus, this service is actually available in a lot of cities across the world (including several in the States though I'm not sure what the referral amount is there) so worth a visit to to see if they are in your area (or somewhere you'll be traveling soon)!

Happy traveling, and may yours always go better than this day!

**Extra bonus, it looks like it says the referral is now £20 for each person...not sure if this is a special promotion or if they are just more generous this year!

Disclaimer: This post wasn't sponsored by Uber or anything like that, I just found the service through Twitter and have had a couple good experiences and thought it worth passing on information :) If you use my links I will be compensated, but only in the same way as anyone else using the service who refers it. If you sign up (with or without my link) you can refer a friend and get free money too!

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  1. Wow. Sounds like it was stressful getting to your interview! I'm glad you made it there early. I always hated having to use the Tube during rush hour. I often felt like a sardine crammed into one of those cars and standing way to close to other people for comfort. :) Good luck with the job!

    1. Thanks for commenting! Yeah there is no personal space on the tube in rush hour! The job didn't pan out. But that's ok, it was a learning experience for travel AND interviewing!

  2. Oh I do not miss that about London. But you made it and I guess picked up some great tips for getting round in future!
    M x Life Outside London

    1. Yes, lessons learned. I have another interview tomorrow so hope it all goes smoothly!

  3. I found this too when I stayed in London. Some times there were no space on the tubes for me and my husband to get on. We opted to set off extra early if we had to be somewhere for a certain time as you never know with London transport! Luckily the same didn't apply up North which is where I lived up until a month ago!

    1. Yes, the lack of personal space on the tube can be a real pain! Glad to hear it's not as crowded up North. I'd like to make it up there but haven't been further that Solihull yet (and that was just for the visa app) so I'm really looking forward to exploring more of the UK!