The other side of the explosion
Perhaps you have already heard about the explosion that happened in St. Petersburg, Russia. This incident is widely covered in the media, and I will not retell the details of what happened once again. I want to focus on how the citizens were dealing with the consequences of the incident yesterday.
Immediately after the explosion, the authorities closed all the subway stations in the city. This was a serious challenge for a city with 5 million inhabitants, especially for 3 pm Monday. I am sure that the authorities had serious reasons for introducing such extraordinary measures, especially after they reported that they had neutralized the second explosive device.
But in fact, the residents faced the need to overcome distances of 20–30 kilometers or even more to their homes without the underground. Of course, all overland public transportation was declared free of charge, but it is obvious that the ground transportation infrastructure was not enough to withstand the flow of passengers usually served by the underground.
At that moment people began to operate, the top taxi companies announced free transportation of passengers. Among them were Yandex.Taxi, Uber and some others (link). Of course, there were renegades who, despite the statement of the companies, demanded a fare and were not enough cars at all, but anyway thanks for this help!
At the same time, drivers on private cars began to bring pedestrians in passing directions from the bus stops and underground stations. More organized ones began to use online services such as Yandex Maps.
There were organized groups in social networks for coordination drivers and those who need to get home.
There are volunteers who organized community for coordination people via online tables at Google Docs. Requests from the public were accepted in the Telegram group (https://t.me/spbavtohelp) then were transmitted to the online tables. Later were introduced online service for such applications: http://spb.city4people.ru/car-share/
There were many drivers who declared readiness to drive someone to the specific location if someone really needed for this.
After several hours of volunteers’ work one well-known fuel company offered free of charge refueling for volunteers up to 500 rubles (a quarter of average fuel bank). Some restaurants declared free dinner for volunteers.
Now the underground is working again, but volunteers are still accepting incoming requests for trips to work because of many of citizens afraid to go underground…
Of course, we could not help them who suffered directly from the explosion, but I believe that everyone wanted to do something, to help others in any way. And many of us have found such way.