|Garage||Camberwell (Q) |
|Start||North Greenwich bus station|
Upon being tendered in 1988, the route passed to Boro'line. Initially Leyland Atlanteans hired from Ipswich Buses and Daimler Fleetlines from Nottingham City Transport were used, until new Alexander bodied Volvo Citybuses were delivered in 1989. Boro'line operated from a depot in Crayford.
In November 1990, Boro'line surrendered the route, which consequently passed to London Buses subsidiary Selkent who operated it with Leyland Olympians from Plumstead garage. Upon retendering in 1993, the route changed operators again to London & Country, which was later purchased by the British Bus group. Reorganisation of the group's London operations saw the 188 move to the new Londonlinks subsidiary on its formation in 1995.
On 28 July 2007, route 188 became a 24-hour service with a half-hourly service running throughout the night, seven days a week, passing through Bermondsey, Canada Water and Greenwich before terminating at The O2 Arena. The timetabling had been amended in order to meet the needs of visitors to The O2 where concerts continued until after the tube had closed.
John Barry, head of network development for London buses, said: "The new 24-hour service on route 188 is another accessible transport connection for late-night travellers in the capital. London's night bus network has expanded dramatically in recent years with passenger numbers more than doubling since 2000." Despite this improvement, the route received 55 complaints from passengers in 2009, the fourth highest number on any route in London.
On 20 May 2008, one person was killed and 18 injured after a northbound 188 bus hit a low branch on a tree on the route. The woman killed was a passer-by, and the other injured passengers. The bus driver fainted shortly after the accident.
Route 188 operates via these primary locations:
- North Greenwich bus station for North Greenwich station
- Maze Hill Tyler Street
- National Maritime Museum
- Greenwich Church Street for Cutty Sark station
- Deptford Evelyn Street
- Surrey Quays station
- Canada Water bus station for Canada Water station
- Southwark Park
- Bermondsey station
- Bricklayers Arms
- Elephant & Castle station
- St George's Circus
- Waterloo station
- South Bank
- Waterloo Bridge
- Holborn station
- Russell Square
- https://www.goaheadlondon.com/routes. Missing or empty
- McLachlan, Tom (1995). London Buses 1985-1995: Managing The Change. Venture Publications. pp. 101–102. ISBN 1-898432-74-0.
- McLachlan p.57
- McLachlan, Tom (1995). London Buses 1985-1995: Managing The Change. Venture Publications. pp. 87–90. ISBN 1-898432-74-0.
- Cowie Group plc and British Bus Group Limited: A report on the merger situation Competition Commission 31 October 1996
- Bus tender results Transport for London, 9 March 2005
- Bus route 188 to go 24-hour from 28 July | Transport for London
- National Express Group plc agreement to sell Travel London Archived 2 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine National Express Group 21 May 2009
- NedRailways acquisition reinforces long term commitment to UK transport market Archived 18 January 2016 at the Wayback Machine NedRailways 9 June 2009
- Route 65 - London's most hated bus route Archived 17 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine London Daily News, 4 December 2009
- ‘Green’ hybrid buses rolled out onto Greenwich route Archived 9 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine London24, 29 March 2011
- BBC News - "One dead as bus crashes into tree." Accessed 20 May 2008
- Route 188 Map Transport for London
- Media related to London Buses route 188 at Wikimedia Commons