Chairman Pip's Railway Thoughts

Commuting, like red tape, is fun

Posted in Commuter, Customer service, London, Media, Other general stuff about railways by Chairman Pip on 26 April 2011

Of course, the actual commute isn’t fun, as anyone that has had to commute into and out of London either on the tube or a train will attest. But, there are things that can be done to make what you get out of commuting more fun, which is I guess the rationale that the developers of Chromaroma had when they came up with the idea. For those that haven’t seen this yet, Chromaroma is an online game that makes use of the travel data collected by Transport for London every time you swipe in or out of a station with your Oystercard, which is then listed in your online account. When you swipe in or out, you collect points, both individually, and for one of the four coloured teams that you join (red, green, blue, yellow). But that’s not all – there are many other ways to score points; the fastest journey between two stations wins points, as does using the same station every day, going through certain numbers of stations in one day, “collecting” different groups of stations and so on. In addition, there are “missions” or challenges that you can accept that win you points (having to touch in or out of a certain station within a set number of days for example). All of this gains you points towards the end of the “season”, with individual and team honours up for grabs. It really is a fantastic idea to ease the monotony of using the public transport system, as you can think to yourself “if I go such and such a way home, I can capture this station and gain more points”. Furthermore, it gives an incentive to explore areas that you might ordinarily not visit. The only problem is the way TfL collects data – if you have a Travelcard on your Oystercard then it is not collected when you swipe in. Data is only collected if you use Pay As You Go, or you have an Oyster Extension Permit installed. This presents an issue, as OEPs will be abolished from the 22nd May, which means that those of us with Travelcards that don’t normally make journeys outside zones will not be able to play the game, because our travel data will not be collected. Fun though it may be, but I don’t really want to have to pay for the privilege by making countless journeys into Zone 3 just so my journey can be logged. We can but hope that some solution to this is found that allows the data to be transferred to the Chromaroma game.

“Game makes London commuting competitive”

A typical scene at a Central London tube station - Chromaroma can help to make commuting a little less of a chore, by getting commuters to think more about their journey

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  1. […] have to thank Chairman Pip for alerting me to this issue.  As much as I hate OEPs because of the way South Eastern have […]


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