Mayor of London

The future of the Tube

The Tube at night

Our commitments to London

  • A new 24-hour Tube service at weekends from 2015
  • A more frequent and reliable service with better, more accessible stations
  • All stations staffed and managed while services are operating
  • Simpler ticketing
  • The best possible value for the fare you pay

Visit our YouTube channel for a version ofthe film with sign language.

Staff available and ready to help

In the future, rather than being remote from customers behind closed doors or glass windows, we are proposing that Tube station staff will be based in ticket halls, at ticket machines, on gatelines and on platforms, instead of in ticket offices. They'll be ready and available to give the best face-to-face service for customers.

Proposed improvements include:

    • More visible staff in ticket halls and on gatelines - helping customers with services and ticketing, from first train to last
    • More, and better, ticket machines - we have already started increasing the numbers of ticket machines across the network and from next summer we will be updating them to make them easier and faster to use
    • Better technology in stations - dedicated customer service staff with the latest in mobile technology will be available to help customers in ticket hall

    The savings made as a result of these changes will be reinvested into the improvements we continue to make on the network such as more reliable and frequent services, air-conditioned trains and WiFi.

    Ticket offices

    Your questions answered

    This information has been prepared based on commonly asked questions by our customers. It explains why we will be closing all ticket offices and why that will enable us to provide an even better level of service to our customers. 

    1. Why do customers use ticket offices, and what will they do when they’re closed?

      • To buy a ticket

        In future if you need to buy a ticket you’ll be able to do it at every station, over the phone, or online

        Given the success of Oyster and advances in online and ticket machine technology, the use of ticket offices has dramatically fallen. Today, less than 3% of journeys involve a visit to a ticket office to buy a ticket. This trend is set to continue with the introduction of contactless bank card payment later this year.

        Contactless payment will mean that you will be able to simply touch your bankcard on the card reader at the gate line in the same way as you can use an Oyster card. We appreciate that not all customers will want to use this payment option and so we are putting over 150 new ticket machines into our stations and improving the existing machines so that they are faster, and easier to use.

        The new machines, which offer guidance in seventeen languages, will sell all the ticket types currently available in a ticket office, with a few exceptions such as annual season tickets, that will be moved online.

      • To fix a ticketing problem

        We’re giving you the power to fix simple problems and our staff will have the technology to fix the rest

        Currently some ticketing problems can only be resolved at a ticket office. One of the most frequent problems is an incomplete journey when a customer has not touched out of the system.

        From later this year customers registered with us will be able to resolve these issues themselves online.

        Before we start removing ticket offices, the ticket machines will be upgraded so that our staff are able to resolve your problem on the spot. Where this isn’t possible, then as today, our London-based Oyster contact centre will be able to help by telephone or online.

      • To get help or information from a person

        Every station will be staffed and these changes will make staff more visible and available to customers

        We know that many customers want help from a person to buy a ticket. That's why we are committed to having staff at every station when services are running. There will be more staff visible and available in ticket halls to help customers buy tickets and to provide up to date travel information.

        Our commitment to having stations staffed at all times, keeping customers safe and secure, remains sacrosanct. We want staff out in the ticket halls, at gatelines and out on platforms where they can be most helpful to our customers, whether that’s to say good morning to a regular commuter or to help a visitor buy their first Oyster card

    2. But if the ticket offices are closed how will customers who need assistance know where to go to get help?

      London Underground and London Overground are the only railways in the UK to offer a ‘turn-up-and-go’ service for disabled and visually impaired customers and this will continue. In fact, such customers usually do not queue at the ticket office but either approach a member of staff directly in the ticket hall or go to the gateline, which is the focal point of every ticket hall.

      At some of the busiest stations – Euston, Heathrow, King’s Cross St Pancras, Liverpool Street, Paddington, Piccadilly Circus and Victoria, as well as at Gatwick airport – new Visitor Information Centres (VICs) will ensure that those unfamiliar with the Tube, including tourists and visitors to London, are provided with the service and assistance they need. VICs will also continue to sell tickets at these locations.

    3. Won’t the station be less safe without somebody in the ticket office?

      We will have staff at every station when services are running, to help maintain a safe and reliable service and to provide assistance and reassurance to our customers. A person in a ticket office sits behind two sets of locked doors; they would find it much harder to come to the help of a passenger than if they were out in the ticket hall or on the station platform. Closing ticket offices will mean that staff will spend more of their time where our customers need them.

    4. But aren’t Underground stations controlled from the ticket office?

      No. London Underground stations are not controlled from the ticket office. Controls for vital equipment are not in the ticket office; for example, gateline control panels are located in the ticket hall and escalator controls are located on the escalators themselves.

      Where equipment does need to be in a secure location, such as microphones for making Public Address (PA) announcements, it is located in either the supervisor’s office or, at larger stations, in dedicated station control rooms. In the rare cases where station equipment such as PA is located in the ticket office the equipment will either be moved before the ticket office is closed, or access to it will be maintained.

      Technology means that we can increasingly free our staff from being tied to equipment in offices. All our station staff carry radios that enable them to contact colleagues and the London Underground Control Centre from anywhere on their station. Later this year, every member of station will have access to an up to date mobile device which will provide them with access to travel information and other functions.

      The most important element in controlling a station is a member of staff and we are committed to staffing every single station when services are running.

    5. Are there stations on the network today that don’t have ticket offices?

      There are already a number of stations that work effectively without ticket offices. These are Cannon Street, Chigwell, Grange Hill, Regent’s Park, Roding Valley, Theydon Bois, Upminster Bridge and Wood Lane.  

    Night Tube

    The Night Tube network will complement existing 24-hour and night bus services, giving passengers an extensive and integrated service throughout all hours of Friday and Saturday nights.

    We aim to introduce this service in phases from 2015. The initial 24-hour weekend Tube network will be comprised of regular services on the Northern, Piccadilly, Victoria, Central and Jubilee lines.