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

Most stations operated by TfL Rail offer Turn-up-and-go. 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.

Turn-up-and-go means you do not have to pre-book assistance to use this service at these stations. Everyone is welcome to use our Turn-up-and-go service - it is popular with customers with visual impairments and mobility impairments, and groups.

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 or look out for the messages in Journey Planner.

We will:

  • Accompany you from the station entrance to the platform at the start of your journey
  • Help you get on/off the train by deploying a ramp if required (where available)
  • Arrange for you to be met off the train at any interchange stations, and help you board your next train with a ramp
  • Provide a ramp to help you get off the train at your final destination, accompany you back up to the station exit at the end of your journey and give you any onward travel advice
  • Let you know if there are unplanned disruptions on the network and suggest alternative step free access routes

Social distancing

We are committed to continuing to offer our customers a turn-up -and-go service. However, we need to make some changes to protect everyone's health.

Our staff need to maintain a distance of 2 metres at all times. This means that:

  • If a visually impaired person requests Turn-up-and-go assistance and our staff are unable to provide the help required (for example guiding a customer on an escalator), we will arrange an accessible taxi to take them to the nearest accessible point on their journey.
  • We will maintain a two-metre distance when supporting customers with a mobility impairment (for example, by providing manual boarding ramps)
  • Customers with mobility impairments need to be able to wheel themselves up ramps (or be pushed by a carer) - if this is not possible, we will arrange a special taxi

In situations where face coverings make communication difficult, our staff will use written messages on paper, whiteboards or mobile devices.

Due to social distancing requirements, and to help reduce queues at lifts, staff are not able to accompany customers in lifts when assisting with a Turn-up-and-go journey. If you are comfortable travelling in a lift unassisted, staff will accompany you to the lift and then meet you at the lift exit. If you are uncomfortable travelling in a lift unaccompanied, we will arrange an accessible taxi to take you the nearest accessible point on your journey.

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. Some lifts may be closed. Some stations with lift-only access may be closed.

Find out about the busiest stations and travel times and check your journey before you travel. (Link to journey planner)

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 we need to limit the number of customers in lifts so you may have to queue for a lift longer than usual. Signs outside lifts show how many customers can travel in 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.

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.

Follow the signs and instructions on the outside of the bus and board through the appropriate door, touching in as indicated.

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

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

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.