Olympic Demand Management for London 2012

London Underground internal demand management

Olympics London 2012

Where it all began


At the beginning of 2012 we were working with London Underground on a number of different digital projects when they set us a challenge that nobody else had managed to crack – how do you balance the capacity of the Underground network with the demand of thousands of people streaming in and out of the different Olympic venues at the same time?

Working with the LU TDM team and layering our data over the standard TFL Journey Planner, we gathered as much data as we could to see what we could come up with. We looked at capacity of lines, of stations, of individual trains. We listened to the experts as they told us the impact of potential asset failure at Kings Cross, Green Park, Stratford. We looked at the Games themselves, the start times, the end times, the venue capacities…

And then we brought it all together into a system of event-specific routes and options. Routes that broke the usual rules and made you get out and walk. Routes that used spare capacity and spread the demand away from the hot-spots. We even achieved something that the big players had all failed to do – we could tell the difference between Stratford and Stratford Upon Avon, not to mention which St James’ Park people wanted!

Nice app, now print it.


Once we’d created the digital model and calculated all of the possible permutations, we had another challenge – how do you provide that data to people who don’t have a smart device or an internet connection?

The result is probably the only printed app the world has ever needed!
50,000 copies issued to all LU staff and GLC helpers.

That's nothing.

If you want to see what we can really do, drop us a line.

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