Help from staff

Staff assistance

Follow the advice on our coronavirus web pages.

We are aware that coronavirus may make customers who need to make a journey more anxious than usual about travelling on public transport. Our staff are here to help you.

We have staff at all Tube, TfL Rail and London Overground stations whenever services are running. Some piers, all boats, the Emirates Air Line and Victoria Coach Station are staffed too.

Trams and buses are staffed by the driver and the DLR has Passenger Service Agents on trains.

On most of our rail networks, piers and boats, staff can give advice, information and assistance. If you need help planning a route or buying a ticket, please ask.

When there are queues outside a station, customers who identify themselves as disabled should be allowed to enter the station without queueing.

Turn-up-and-go service

We offer a Turn-up-and-go service on the London Underground and London Overground.

Most stations operated by TfL Rail offer Turn-up-and-go too. To check if a TfL Rail station offers 'Turn-up-and-go' enter the station name and check the Accessibility & Mobility Access section.

DLR stations and trains are fully step-free. Trams, piers, the Emirates Air Line and buses are also all step-free.

Everyone is welcome to use our Turn-up-and-go service - it is popular with customers with visual impairments, mobility impairments, and groups. There is no need to pre-book the Turn-up-and-go service, just turn up at the station and ask staff for assistance.

You are responsible for your own luggage and possessions including buggies. If you aren't sure whether you will need to use a boarding ramp at any point on your journey, use the Step-free Tube guide to check or look out for the messages in Journey Planner.

Our Turn-up-and-go service means that our staff will:

  • Let you know if there are unplanned disruptions and suggest alternative step free access routes
  •  Accompany you from the ticket hall to the platform and help you board the train
  • Help you get off the train at any interchange stations and board the next train
  • Help you get off the train when you arrive at your final destination, and accompany you back to the ticket hall
  • Arrange a boarding ramp, if required (and available)

London Underground staff will:

  • Guide visually impaired customers by the arm. Staff have been provided with single-use disposable sleeves to wear on the arm they offer to guide you, to give you both additional protection
  • Assist wheelchair users by pushing your wheelchair, if required
  •  Remove their face covering to speak with you at a 2m social distance

Turn-up-and-go safety guidance

  • The member of staff and customer should keep a 2m distance where possible, avoid standing face to face and follow good hand hygiene
  • You must wear a face covering (unless you are exempt). Staff providing physical assistance will wear face coverings
  • Our staff are no longer accompanying customers in lifts
  • If you are legally exempt from wearing a face covering, we cannot offer you physical Turn-up-and-go assistance. We may offer verbal guidance at a social distance if you are comfortable with this

If for any reason we are not able to offer you physical Turn-up-and-go assistance, we will arrange an accessible taxi to take you to your destination station within the Greater London area. This could be a London Underground, TfL Rail, London Overground or National Rail station.

Changes to stations, queuing and lifts

Due to social distancing requirements and to help with congestion, some stations have one-way systems in place so walking distances may be greater than normal.

Find out about quieter stations and travel times and check before you travel on the TfL Go app or our Journey Planner tool.

When there are queues outside a London Underground station, customers who identify themselves as disabled should be allowed to enter the station without queueing - this includes carers and assistants accompanying you. Make yourself known to a member of staff.

Due to social distancing, you may have to wait longer than usual for a lift.

Check planned works that are affecting stations, lifts and escalators.

Booking assistance

You are welcome to book in advance on London Overground and TfL Rail as part of the national Passenger Assist service.

If you would like to pre-book assistance you should do so at least 24 hours in advance.

You can book:

If you need help accessing the DLR, contact our DLR Community Ambassadors for advice.

Passenger Assistance app

You can now request assistance on London Overground and TfL Rail using Passenger Assistance by Transreport - a new smartphone app.

It enables you to request assistance via your internet-enabled smartphone - without needing to contact a contact centre by phone or email. You will still need to pay for your journey separately in the usual way.

The app is available on Apple/iOS and Android mobile devices and can be downloaded to your phone by visiting the App store or Google Play Store.

Passenger Assistance by Transreport enables you to:

  • book assistance for your rail journey
  • manage your customer profile
  • view your travel history
  • browse rail journeys using the online journey planner

The app can be used to request assistance for future journeys across the whole National Rail network. It was developed by the Rail Delivery Group and National Rail.

To find out more about the new assistance app, visit the National Rail website.

How to find staff

On the Tube, TfL Rail and London Overground, station staff are encouraged to offer help to anyone who looks as though they might need assistance. If you can't immediately see a staff member, they can usually be found in the ticket hall or gateline, or on platforms at busier times.

On the DLR and trams, most stops and stations are unstaffed, but you can find a staff member on the train or tram. Staff are easy to find at the coach station, Emirates Air Line terminals and on piers and boats.

Help points can be found throughout our networks. You can use them to contact staff for information and assistance or in an emergency. Many have induction loops to work with hearing aids.

Staff help on buses

All bus drivers are trained to help customers who need extra assistance, including to:

  •  Pull in close to the kerb to reduce the gap
  •  Lower the bus to reduce the step up
  •  Deploy the wheelchair ramp if needed
  •  Require customers to make space for wheelchair users, unless it is unreasonable for them to do so
  •  Wait until you're seated or holding on before pulling away

Ask the bus driver if you need any further information or help.

We've made safety improvements to driver screens on buses to help keep you and our drivers safe.

Board through the front door, touching in as indicated. Routes 507 and 521 will continue to operate with open door boarding.

All buses have maximum capacity limits to help maintain social distancing.

Wheelchair users have priority in the wheelchair space.

Carers travelling with a wheelchair or mobility scooter users can still board the bus, even if both customers exceed the maximum capacity limit. See more about boarding arrangements

The wheelchair space can be shared with a buggy owner, providing the driver believes the space is big enough and the wheelchair user or mobility scooter user agrees to do so. If the wheelchair space is shared, customers should not be positioned face to face.

Standing on buses

You must remain seated on buses at all times. Standing is not currently allowed anywhere on a bus.

This is so that people can use all the space on both decks while maintaining social distance.

A small number of customers are unable to sit down due to an impairment or medical condition. These customers only are permitted to stand in the following areas on the lower deck:

  • By the middle doors if the middle doors open outward. For safety reasons do not stand by middle doors if they open inwards
  • By the priority seats if they are empty
  • In the wheelchair space, only if the wheelchair space is not occupied by a wheelchair user. This space is specifically designed, and prioritised for, wheelchair and mobility scooter users

If you stand in one of these places, maintain social distancing at all times and hold on to a handrail.

If you are have to stand but cannot stand in any of these areas, the driver may ask you to get off and wait for the next bus.

If you need to stand for a medical reason, carry a Travel Support Card so the driver knows about your condition. This will enable them to offer you help if needed. See below for more details.

Did you know?

If you have mobility impairments and have trouble using public transport, you may be able to get subsidised taxi and minicab travel in London. The two schemes are called Taxicard and Capital Call. Find out more

Travel support card

We produce a travel support card to help people communicate any assistance or information requirements they have with staff. You can use it on any of our services.

There is space on the card to write down what assistance or information you need.

Order your Travel Support card.

Alternatively you can download and print your own copies.