Did you, like Londonist, stumble bleary-eyed to your local bus/tube stop this morning only to find that the 'correct change' you had fished out of whatever was left of your Christmas fund just wasn't enough?
That's because, as of Sunday, the price of a bus fare went up from £1 to £1.20, and a peak-time zones one and two day travel card soared up 70p to £6.
If you were sufficiently aggreived by this above-inflation jacking up then you might be glad to know that at 6:15 tonight the Commuter Voice protest group are staging a "a peaceful gathering of like-minded people who wish to have their thoughts and feelings noted," at Charing Cross Station.
May Day protestors eat your heart out.
In related news, the Guardian ran an article yesterday on London's bus network, which contained some (arguably) interesting facts:
- There are fourteen bus routes which coincide in Enfield's key shopping street, they carry 74,000 passengers every weekday.
- Every weekday in London, 6,500 scheduled buses carry six million people on 700 different routes.
- The government's annual subsidy to buses in London is scheduled to hit £1bn by 2008.
- Buses have an 'image problem'. A new light-rail scheme typically persuades 20% of car commuters to leave their vehicles at home. A new bus route attracts only 5%.
There's also evidence of the mysterious 'passenger blindness' that seems to afflict some London bus drivers in this quote from graduate Beverley Goodchild: "I'd definitely say they've improved, but some of them don't stop. The drivers see you but just speed straight past."