London can boast the world’s first underground system and now it is can be proud of the birth of a whole new way of commuting – Home Run.
Home Run (homerunlondon.com) is a series of guided runs home from central London helping commuters to avoid the crush and “get fit, get home” … and they even carry your bag for you!
With tube use already at record levels (Evening Standard 16 Feb 2011) and an estimated 20 million additional public transport journeys anticipated during next year’s Olympic Games (Evening Standard 24 Nov 2010), it is unsurprising that Londoners are taking to their feet.
Home Run’s aim is to encourage commuters to “leave the tube behind” and find a more enjoyable, more sociable and all round healthier journey home. Home Runs are conducted at chatting-pace and approximately 4 to 5 miles in length. This distance can be travelled in about 40-55 minutes by most (not too dissimilar from the commuting time). But having combined your workout and commute in one you have saved yourself the most valuable of all commodities – time.
As a transport method, the striking thing about Home Run is that for once, fellow commuters actually talk to each other. “The social element of Home Run is actively encouraged” stated Home Run founder Diccon Loy, “so many of our runners have commented that they don’t even realise that they are exercising. They are so happy chatting away to each other that they forget that they are running a journey that would usually take them over half an hour by tube and normally completed in total silence.”
If you are not a runner there is plenty of scope for you to slowly build up your distance travelled. The Home Run routes follow the tube lines, so if fatigued you can simply jump on the tube, train or bus at the next station and continue to collect your bag at the destination. The bags are taken to the destination either by specially designed bicycles or Streetcars, creating London’s most environmentally friendly commute.
Even if commuters live more than 5 miles away, Home Run will still be able to help you get home. Many Home Runners use the service to travel the first 5 miles of their commute and then take other transport methods to continue their journey home.
The hope is not only can it become a viable transport solution but also it can help London deliver on the “Singapore promise” of being the first Olympic Games in history to achieve an increase in participation sport post the Games. Home Run will be a highly visible example of Londoners taking up sport.
The Home Run journey is just starting but their hope is to grow this service to cover all areas of London and offer a viable alternative transport solution. The Home Run network will grow organically and reflect demand. The next routes to be launched will be Waterloo to Clapham Junction and Canary Wharf to Waterloo. The routes thereafter will be based on the numbers of people registering their interest and their preferred route.
The message to London’s commuters is; don’t complain about the delays, heat, congestion or expense – register your interest and get fit and get home.