London bus strike, ROUND TWO! If you're a Londoner that uses public transport, you won't feel like you've had much luck recently. If it's not rail problems it's tube strikes. Now, the capital is bracing itself for its second bus strike in as many months. If you're planning on watching the wheels go round and round as part of your commute this morning, make sure to give this primer a read before heading out.
So, What's The Strike Action Over This Time?
Why, pay of course! London has more than 18 bus route operators, but each pays differing salaries for what usually often amounts to essentially the same job -- driving passengers around or directing the fleet of drivers. As a result, the Unite union has rallied the troops, with thousands of drivers keeping their feet off the accelerators.
How Long Do I Have To Walk Around For Then?
The customary 24-hours, starting at 4am on Thursday February 5th. That means night buses are going to be pretty much useless too. Services should be back to normal by the morning of Friday 6th.
Which Operators Are Striking?
In alphabetical order: Abellio, Arriva, CT Plus, Go Ahead, London Sovereign, London United, Metroline, Stagecoach and Tower Transit.
Which Are The Affected Routes?
A fair few of them; getting about by bus really is going to be a pain today. The full list of affected routes can be found here -- just forty four routes are running as they usually would.
Here's a rundown of the companies involved in the strike.
Arriva's fleet has 1,600 buses, running 74 day services and 21 night services out of 13 London garages. You can check out all the routes that may be affected by tomorrow's strike by clicking here.
CT Plus runs just ten routes through London, though the suburban areas it serves will be among the hardest hit tomorrow, where other public transport options are scarce.
Go Ahead's bus routes mainly serve north and south London. You can check them out here.
London Sovereign operates out of garages in Edgware and Harrow. According to Wikipedia, it runs 15 bus routes as of September 2014.
London United has 40 bus routes around the capital, which you can view here.
With 4,500 drivers, Metroline is one of the biggest bus operators in London, responsible for 99 routes. You can view them here.
Stagecoach routes operate primarily around East London. Check out its route list here.
Tower Transit has 400 buses and 1,500 staff operating out of three London garages.
How Am I Supposed To Get Around?
Maybe dust off those running shoes? Give that shiny new Christmas bike a spin? TFL promises to have a contingency plan in place to ease the travel woes, but that mostly comes down to moving people with Bus & Tram passes towards Tube, DLR and Overground services. Considering they're usually so overcrowded that people head towards buses to avoid them, navigating the Underground tomorrow will probably be like taking on the nine circles of Hell. Bus & Tram season tickets will be accepted on those services.
However, the MBNA Thames Clipper River Bus service, National Rail and Emirates Air Line will NOT accept Bus & Tram season tickets. Nor will one day bus and tram passes be accepted on alternative routes anywhere, should you be looking for a cheekily-cheap way of using the pricier services tomorrow.