London Busses
September 19, 2004 6:04 PM   Subscribe

In London, what's the difference between a white "Bus Stop" and a red "Request Stop"? Cause, like, I've never seen them used differently.
posted by Pretty_Generic to Travel & Transportation around London, England (13 answers total)
 
You queue for a bus, yet demand a request.
(Sorry - couldn't resist.)
posted by Smart Dalek at 6:12 PM on September 19, 2004


I don't get British humor.
posted by vraxoin at 6:13 PM on September 19, 2004


A bus stop, in all seriousness, is a designated stop.
A request stop, as I jokingly inferred, actually is any area where you'd wave the transport down.
posted by Smart Dalek at 6:15 PM on September 19, 2004


oh, ye be back in London now? arrrr!

(you raise your arm for the bus at a request stop, no?)
posted by amberglow at 6:15 PM on September 19, 2004


No, ye raises yer hook or peg-leg, though Poly's wing-flppin' could do, arrr suppose.
posted by Smart Dalek at 6:17 PM on September 19, 2004


that would be cool--to have a jolly roger or flag or something to raise : >
posted by amberglow at 7:21 PM on September 19, 2004


Pretty_Generic, there doesn't seem to be much difference these days. Drivers are supposed to stop and pick up passengers at (non-request) stops even if no-one actually signals them, but (potential) passengers seem to have got sick of drivers just whizzing past stops so now every bus at every stop is flagged down with frantic waves. With or without hooks attached.
posted by cbrody at 7:44 PM on September 19, 2004


cbrody is right. To be honest, I didn't even realise the signs were different anymore. When I was a kid, the difference was significant. Generally people wouldn't wave down a bus at all at a 'proper' bus stop, and would stay sat down almost until the bus had opened its doors. With all the riff raff driving buses these days (almost a joke, I just know several people who drive buses) it's necessary to wave them down whenever possible.
posted by wackybrit at 7:55 PM on September 19, 2004


Although in Glasgow it's coming close to that whole catch-the-barman's eye art thing, and small hand gestures and minimalist movements are the in way to stop buses.

It burst something British inside me that I'll never get back when I had to yell "TAXI!" while waving my arm in NYC.
posted by bonaldi at 9:10 PM on September 19, 2004


WackyBrit is right - and I'd warn any hopeful London bus user to be prepared to RUN after a bus, regardless of whether or not you've waved your hand to flag it down. Actually picking up passengers doesn't seem to be much of a priority these days.
posted by skylar at 12:36 AM on September 20, 2004


I was at a permanent bus stop the other day with a few other people and the bus just drove on by. It seems to be pot luck if they stop or not
posted by floanna at 1:48 AM on September 20, 2004


Occasionally, a bus will do this if another is just behind it. It's easy to mathmatically model how buses tend to become clumped. The more a bus is delayed, the more people are waiting at the bus stop, and the longer a bus takes to load. Thus, as a bus gets delayed, the tendancy is for the bus to get more and more delayed. Meanwhile, the gap to the bus behind is decreasing, and so there is less time for the number of people at bus stops to build up. So the bus behind will get faster and faster until it catches up.

To circumvent this, bus companies will tell a driver not to stop unless a passenger is getting off.
posted by salmacis at 2:48 AM on September 20, 2004


Actually picking up passengers doesn't seem to be much of a priority these days.

My bus driving friends admit as much. Indeed, there are so many excellent stories about the buses (accidents involving a packed bus rolling down a hill sans driver, crazy passengers, road rage incidents etc) that if a London bus driver had a blog.. it'd be a helluva read.
posted by wackybrit at 5:26 AM on September 20, 2004


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