Essential Olympic Guide to…

…using ticket gates.

There is nothing more aggravating to a London commuter than a person before them having no knowledge of how to use the tube/railway ticket gates. While it may seem straightforward at first – insert ticket or touch card and pass – it is, in fact, far from it. See, there are some basic rules to the ritual which it takes a while to discover. Some people still failed to grasp these basics.

Tube ticket gate. Green arrow for go, Red cross for error. Railway gates have green and red lights.

The Olympics will be a tough time for everybody, especially on the public transport. So if you or anyone you know is planning to visit London this summer, here are a few important things to remember:

  1. WAIT until the person before you crosses the gate and the flaps fully close.
  2. DO NOT hurry through, try to squeeze, or touch the reader too early. This will cause the bad red light to appear and evoke tut-tuts from the people behind you.
  3. DO NOT enter the gate area (just before the flaps) until you get a green light.
  4. IF THE LIGHT TURNS RED, take a step back (don’t mind the people behind you. Those who know, will avoid you) wait a moment and try again.
  5. IF THE LIGHT IS STILL RED, seek assistance from staff. Most of the time they will just let you pass through the disabled gate.

And there you go. This knowledge should make your travel much smoother. Have fun in London during the Olympics – I know I won’t 😉

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