"good service" on the Underground,

Meeting: 
Plenary on 2004-01-14
Session date: 
January 14, 2004
Reference: 
2004/0152
Question By: 
Brian Coleman
Organisation: 
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
Ken Livingstone

Question

When was it decided to replace the phrase "normal service" with "good service" on the Underground, and why was this done? Would it not be better to concentrate on improving actual service, rather than the perception? .

Answer

Answer for "good service" on the Underground,

Answer for "good service" on the Underground,

Answered By: 
Ken Livingstone

The Underground decided to use the phrase "Good Service'" during October 2003. The Underground has been experimenting with ways to get more useful information into the hands of customers so that they can plan their journeys. For some time LU used hand-written messages on whiteboards to note delays on the system. Often these messages were not relevant to the line on which they were displayed or for any likely connections. Instead, such messages were just a steady drumbeat of bad news obscuring the fact that the rest of the system was running without problems. In order to present balanced and more useful information, LU introduced the line specific boards that characterise service on each line. These boards allow users to quickly locate information about the lines of interest to them.When using the new boards, staff across the system adopted various terms to describe service equal to the timetable or with only minor variations. The most common phrases were "good service", "normal service" and "service running well". LU chose to adopt "good service" because it is a positive message, but also because some objected that "a normal service is a delayed service". We chose to avoid this corruption of our message because the point is to communicate when you can rely on the service to get you where you need to go without the stress of long delays. . .