This week London will once again be brought to its knees if the planned Tube strikes go ahead. Commuter routes will be in chaos with platforms tens of people deep and bus stops will have queues so long, anything previously seen at a Greek ATM will pale into insignificance.
Millions using the public transport network will share the pain and frustration. Tourists are inadvertently embroiled in the unexpected people congestion. Pedestrians find that there’s a lot less pavement space.
Buses multiply to cope with the demand and part-time cyclists are prepared to don their lycra in an attempt to beat the traffic. Taxi services increase vehicle fleets to help those in need. Only they can’t travel very fast because of the buses – and you’ll have to pay a much greater price than normal for the privilege.
Some have taken a well-timed holiday. Others will work from home, while some will simply take a day off to enjoy the park or get on top of domestic admin.
However, for the vast majority of working Londoners, the strike will represent another arduous journey to and from home on London’s public transport network.
But, you think, we’re Londoners – we find ways to deal with the problem. It doesn't all have to be doom and gloom and, while it will be impossible to completely avoid the carnage, there are ways and means of cheating the Tube strike.
Today there are free tools that help people travelling around the city quickly find and identify the best way to get from A to B.
Apps like Moovit project real-time information about the live transport system to you and other users empowering commuters to make simple and quick decision about that best ways of getting to and from home. In fact, there is a whole new breed of apps available to you offering a range of services from pre-booking car parking spots to finding the best walking route. There's the London bus checker – if you can face the queues – or hitchhiker's app Liftshare.
Failing that, @TFLtravelalerts is a staple follow for any Londoner on Twitter – expect them to be busy (at least someone is).
There are, of course, alternative methods of transport too – the Thames riverboat is a pleasant way to get to work at any time, let alone when it’s positively serene in comparison to what's happening on dry land and whatever you do, download a podcast and let that take your mind off the whole event – you may even (reluctantly) welcome the extra time to finish an episode. Or you could get on your (Boris) bike.
Whatever you use, it might only help you get from one bus stop to one that is slightly less busy but, if it gets you home to that cold glass of wine earlier it will most definitely have been worth it.