Tube strike blues ?
Get set for a summer of discontent on London’s underground system, with a 24-hour tube strike set to kick off, and more possible in the weeks ahead if negotiations between London Underground and unions RMT, Unite and TSSA don’t progress.
Commuters wondering how to get across the capital on Wednesday evening and Thursday can turn to a range of smartphone apps that could help them with tube-free travelling. Here are five that could come in handy this week.
If you get one app in this list, make it Citymapper: it’s one of the most useful apps you can have on your homescreen. You set your starting point and destination, then Citymapper provides you with a range of ways to get there, from walking and cycling to taxis and buses. It’ll even tell you how many calories you’ll burn and what weather to expect along the way. Citymapper even has a “Strike Safe” section of its results to route you around the disruption.
Owners of Android devices get Google Maps preloaded – although the version available on the Google Play app store is updated more often. It’s still a quick, slick way to find your way across London, including public transport directions that can be tweaked to choose tube alternatives as your preferred mode of travel during a strike.
There are a number of apps helping you see where there are free London cycles (“Boris bikes”) nearby. This is the official app, though, and comes with one advantage: it will send the code needed to unlock the bike you’ve just hired directly to your phone. It’ll also help you plan your journey with a built-in map.
One obvious choice when thinking of taking a cab across London is Uber, although its “surge” pricing could make such a journey expensive during times of high demand (ie during strikes). Hailo is an alternative worth trying: it’ll help you digital-hail a black taxi from your smartphone and, as with Uber, track its location and then pay from within the app.
London Bus Live Countdown
If you’re dead set on catching the bus, this is one of many useful bus-tracker apps available for the capital, drawing data from Transport for London to let you know just how long a wait you’re in for at the bus stop. It’ll also show you your Oyster balance, and help you find a bus stop nearby if you’re in an unfamiliar part of town.
This article was written by Stuart Dredge, for theguardian.com on Wednesday 8th July 2015 09.48 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010