The underground system in the UK dates back to 1863. Its history has both ups and downs. One of the major problems is inhumanity of the system caused by complications and technicalities in its usability and comfort of the system (Geocities, 2004). The reading of the maps is one of the technicalities as it presents great topological problems (Gunther and Leuween, 2006). The London subway map compounds this by being geographically incorrect and confusing for its new users (Rumble, 2002). This is further compounded by the general disorganization of station signs which are confusing and remote from each other (The Traveler, 2008). The other problem is the air conditioning issue. The mayor, Boris Johnson, just unveiled the new form of the trains that are meant to ease both congestion and conditioning problems. The only issue is that they are to be released in 2010 and will neither eliminate nor alleviate the latter. They will form only 40% of the train fleet leaving the majority of people no alternative (Milmo, 2008). The other problem associated with the underground system is the overcrowding, especially during peak hours.
The problem causes a variety of risks including heat strokes, especially in the summer (Ampofo, Maidment and Missenden, 2004). The delays have resulted in the development of the online timetabling allowing the commuter to see the route and plan the trips according to the delays shown (Beavis, 2008). The issue of the signs is also confusing for strangers to find their way around. Also, if you are disabled or bear baggage you will have to use a different route to access the same station, which is rather inconvenient.
In my opinion, one can find effective ways to solve these problems. This includes putting up more signs in visible places, providing cooling equipment in the subways and increasing the number of trains in deployment. Take for example the KORAIL services. The service providers strive to cater for their local and foreign clients. Their maps have both English and Korean interpretations. Their trains are comfortable and fully air conditioned. They have a time keep rating of an amazing 99%. In addition, they have an interface in the cabin door that tells you where they will stop next. In the future, customer-friendly technologies must be put in place by additional funding from the advertising opportunities in subways. Abolition of the sponsoring of subway stations ban will allow the service provider to increase their incomes and respective subway funding (Mole, 2008).
Special importance will be attributed in the near future not only to the underground in London but also to any other transportation means. The Olympic and Paralympic games of 2012 that will take place in the British capital will demand much more attention to the transportation issues from the side of the Government and London municipality. It is a widely known fact that Olympic games gather the audience which is 20 times as numerous as during the World Cup in football. Drawing from this, additional roads and rescheduling of the already existing ones will be of vital importance in London.
Accordingly, the British transport minister Jim Fitzpatrick claims the start of the work on the transport issues already today. According to his interview for BBC News, the Olympic Route Network will be comprised of such busy routes as Stratford, “the sailing and rowing venues at Weymouth in Dorset and Eton Dorney in Berkshire respectively. And Broxbourne in Hertfordshire, home of Olympic canoeing, would be included” (BBC, 2008). Moreover, The Olympic Delivery Authority stated that all the operating roads will be in constant work during the games, while the new ones will be constructed to avoid overcrowding and sportspeople being late for the competitions.
Finally, despite the fact that Woodland Trust filed a claim against The Olympic Delivery Authority about the environmental danger of the route around Weymouth and Portland, the issues have already been settled and the preparations for the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics are being carried out according to the schedule. According to Mr. Fitzpatrick, “Good transport will be absolutely vital to ensure everyone can enjoy the 2012 events, while still allowing Londoners to go about their normal business.” And this is the aim of the current activities by the authorities.
The London Underground, as well as the whole transportation system, will have more conveniences after 10 years. For example, the waiting area can have entertainment such as TV. The availability of food and refreshment stands inside the tubes will be common. Air conditioning in summer and heating in winter will be commonplace. Use of plastic seats for clean and good sanitation will also be necessary. On-line shopping in tube will also add to the convenience of the travel. These designs will have to consider the ergonomics of future developments so as not to repeat the past mistakes of the original engineers.
The documentary must assimilate the problem of the commuter and the thoughts of the expert. It is important that the audience get to see the problem to relate to it (Hampe, 2004). I suggest that we let the story be told by the commuters themselves. This is their problem and so they would communicate it better (Nulph, 2006). The use of a specialist in the areas concerned is a good measure as they can offer clarifications on the changes within their sector of activity. Also in the interview guest list, we can have a representative from the London Underground so that they can offer us their perspective of the problem and the plans of the organization. Ensure, however, that the interviewees do not go too technical, as they will make the interview a bore (Jollife and Zinnes, 2006, 59). However, I think the length of the experts and representatives interviews should not be so long. A narrator is recommended to keep the general story line and describe the shots concerning the problem that have no words. Use of a female and male narrator interchangeably is good in order to keep variety and show gender equality.
Ampofo F., Maidment G. and Missenden J. Underground Railway Environment in the UK Part 1: Review of Thermal Comfort Applied Thermal Engineering Volume 24, Issues 5-6, 2004, Pages 611-631
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