188 Bus Problems?

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Friday 28 October 2011 11.12pm
Hello,

I'm new to the area, but absolutely horrified by the conditions on the 188 Bus. If it's not more overcrowded than a Central American camioneta in the morning, it's stopping for minutes at a time, sometimes with the bus being turned off and turned back on again.

I'm most curious -- what is the reason for the bus parking at a stop in between Tower Bridge Road and Elephant & Castle, turning off (lights and sign go off) and then turning back on five minutes later? Is this a driver behaving badly and trying to reset some sort of tracking device?

As one of the most convenient (well, it should be...) buses in this part of London, I think we should agitate for its immediate improvement -- this bus is way below standard.

Cheers.
Saturday 29 October 2011 6.24am
Lots of buses do it - I suspect it must be some sort of enforced rest break that bus drivers have to do? It is very frustrating but I guess that is the price of having human drivers instead of robots?

I hate rush hour buses so much that in the Summer I cycle and in the Winter walk to work. Used to do Long Lane to UCL this way - which is probably the route you are taking on the "1 hate hate"

What I found the most horrible was the nastiness of the passengers to each other (albeit created by the stress of the overcrowding)
Saturday 29 October 2011 1.27pm
Welcome to the 188, James! It is indeed awful. If you can use a bus stop on TBR after Grange Road just wait for the 1 which goes to more-or-less the same place.

I don't really understand how it gets away with using the NKR as its bus depot, getting in the way of properly run buses as well as car drivers...
Monday 31 October 2011 10.02am
The 188 [and now the 172] are operated by Abellio London from their Walworth Bus Garage, and so use the top end of New Kent Road as a location for the drivers to start/end their duty.

It is by far and away a much "greener" solution than running empty buses between Camberwell Green and the o2 terminus - although this does happen on occasions as well.
Monday 31 October 2011 11.24am
What amazes me about the 188 is that if your waiting for a greenwich bound bus at the first stop in tbr,opp The George pub,you will see 10s of people getting off there but no one is allowed on because it's too packed.
Monday 31 October 2011 2.41pm
The 188 is very poor and unfortunately, the 172 has joined in.

If Abellio can't run services without switching drivers midway through the route, I don't think TfL should be awarding them contracts.

Presumably its easier to win tenders if you employ fewer drivers and force them to switch between the 188, 172 and 343 at Elephant rather than give drivers their breaks at the end of the routes?
Monday 31 October 2011 3.37pm
Indeed Emmesse - I imagine two of the big costs in any bus company are staff and fuel - using NKR as a bus depot must work out well for Abellio - less well for the travelling public.

enquire@tfl.gov.uk takes complaints in case anyone's interested...

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