Ghost Bus Gets Busted!

Legend has it that a shuttle bus takes King’s staff and students everyday from Guy’s Campus to St Thomas’s Hospital. Hardly anyone has actually seen it. Roar is proud to have bust the ghost bus for you.

The official King’s College London webpage states there is a shuttle bus circulating between Guy’s Campus and St Thomas’ Hospital, available for students and staff members. However, almost no one is aware of this. A Roar poll administered to King’s student from the two campuses revealed that approximately only one in five students has ever heard of this service. 

When asked about the shuttle bus, one Biochemistry student, who wishes to remain anonymous said that he is “pretty sure this got discussed at an AGM years ago, and it’s just a staff shuttle?”. Most students share this thought.

Blissful ignorance

However, students cannot be blamed for their ignorance. Despite a couple of signs reading “Staff Shuttle Bus” around the bus’ station at Guy’s, there is no indication that students are allowed to use it. The student website also lacks information on the service, whereas most details are written down only in the Staff Handbook.

Even members of the Students’ Union were quite surprised when asked about the shuttle bus. “Sorry, where exactly does the shuttle bus stop?” was the most common reaction.

The staff at Student Services was also rather confused. However, one member had actually used the bus and was able to bring some light to the case. It turns out priority is given to patients and staff members, but students carrying their college ID can hop on the bus too.

Location, location, location

Finding the shuttle bus station at Guy’s is no easy job, given that there are no signs other than those indicating the location of the regular bus station.

According to KCL’s website the bus stops atGreat Maze Pond on the lay-by to the Bloomfield Clinic”, but the station is actually at Nuffield House south car park.

What’s your schedule like?

Although good-looking, the shuttle bus station does not provide any information regarding a schedule. There is only a sign that says: “The staff shuttle bus service is currently running.”

There is no time schedule at all. As explained in the Staff Handbook, there are three minibuses that “provide a continuous ‘turn up and ride’ service from 7 am to 8 pm Monday-Friday, with buses arriving approximately every 10-15 minutes”. “Approximately” is an interesting word here because according to a frequent user of the bus with whom we talked on the station, it comes every 30 minutes.

Roar waited for exactly 23 minutes for the bus to come around noon. A minivan with approximately 15 seats finally arrived out of which 10 were occupied. Some of the passengers interviewed said the ride usually takes 15-20 minutes depending on the traffic. For Roar, it took 17, which is very good compared to the walking time estimated by Google Maps to be just under half an hour. If using public transport, Google Maps predicts a 17-minute journey.

The service is completely free and student-friendly. You’re welcome! 

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