Compared to those near stations in poorer areas, residents near some London Tube stops are likely to live 20 years longer.
Last year's dystopian action flick In Time has Justin Timberlake playing a street rat who suddenly comes into a great deal of money -- only the currency isn't cash, it's time. Hours and minutes of Timberlake's life that can be traded just like dollars and cents in our world. Moving from poor districts to rich ones, and vice versa, requires Timberlake to pay a toll, each time shaving off a portion of his life savings.
Literally paying with your life just to get around town seems like -- you guessed it -- pure science fiction. It's absolute baloney to think that driving or taking a crosstown bus could result in a shorter life (unless you count this). But a project by University College London researchers called Lives on the Line echoes something similar with a map that plots local differences in life expectancy based on the nearest Tube stop.
The trends are largely unsurprising, and correlate mostly with wealth. Britons living in the ritzier West London tend to have longer expected lifespans compared to those who live in the east or the south. Those residing near the Oxford Circus Tube stop have it the easiest, with an average life expectancy of 96 years. Going into less wealthy neighborhoods in south and east London, life expectancy begins to drop -- though it still hovers in the respectable range of 78-79.