The New London Bus

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The New London Bus

Postby Nick » Mon May 17, 2010 3:30 pm



The bus will use the latest green technology. It will be 15 per cent more fuel efficient than existing hybrid buses, and 40 per cent more efficient than conventional diesel double decks and much quieter on the streets.

The pioneering design makes use of lightweight materials, with glass highlighting key features and producing a light and airy feel inside the bus. An impressive glass ‘swoop’ at the rear and offside pick out the two staircases and provide a dramatic visual effect. An asymmetric design for the front-end completes the futuristic look.

The open platform is a defining feature, shared with the Routemaster of old, and allows the reinstatement of a hop-on, hop-off service. Three doors and two staircases will aid speedier and smoother boarding.
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Re: The New London Bus

Postby REI » Mon May 17, 2010 8:16 pm

There is a longer version of the video where some of the images are cut aways so you can get a sense of the inside.

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Re: The New London Bus

Postby REI » Mon May 17, 2010 8:24 pm

There was an earlier design that has a roof that was clear or mostly clear. The benefit to the passengers was they could watch the skyline and otherwise see more of the city while riding.

It looks like the new designed dropped that possibility.

I am looking forward to the new buses.

I think it is really smart that they added a rear door so they do not have to have two staff during slow periods.
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Re: The New London Bus

Postby Nick » Mon May 17, 2010 8:40 pm

I'm a little puzzled by the hop on, hop off. I used to really like the old Routemasters where you could get on or off wherever you wanted (not just the stops) or chase after a bus that had left a stop, & catch it up & get on, on the move. They stopped all that for safety reasons - surely they aren't bringing it back?
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Re: The New London Bus

Postby Gill » Mon May 17, 2010 9:35 pm

I understand why people hankered after the routemaster - it was an iconic design, but I never really understood all the campaigns against the bendy buses.

As someone who actually used to use the bus as part of my daily journey to work in Holborn, I always found the bendy buses far more user friendly for short journeys - lots of doors to hop on & off, plenty of space inside and no need to be struggling up & down stairs. Routemasters were very cramped downstairs on the inside, the newer double decker buses were better laid out.
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Re: The New London Bus

Postby Nick » Mon May 17, 2010 10:39 pm

Gill,

I do actually agree about the bendy buses, I regularly use the 436 Bendy & don't have a problem. I think cyclists may dislike them, but I can't see any other issues. I really like London's bus services, maybe it's because Victoria is a major center for Bus routes, and Pimlico is so central, but I nearly always use buses and can get to anywhere I want in less than 20 mins.
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Re: The New London Bus

Postby REI » Tue May 18, 2010 9:21 am

The bendy buses are pretty good for those riding. I think most of the negative comes from the fact that they are a bit of a monster on the road. Many of London's roads force the bendy buses to take up the whole road or to cut corners.

The hop on and off is a safety issue but the UK is better than the US when allowing people to take risk. There were two other reasons, or two more important reasons, for replacing the old models. The idea that you needed two staff members rather than just one is a big expense. Second, the old models could not handle handicap riders as easily as the present buses. I expect the design for a replacement for the Routemaster will need to provide wheelchair access.
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Re: The New London Bus

Postby Nick » Tue May 18, 2010 10:40 am

I didn't really understand the 2 staff model - is that for when there are 2 entrances?

I also don't see why 2 stairs are a good idea.

It seems to me that people who don't want to pay travel anyway - although it saved my bacon once. I got on the bus, & my Oyster wouldn't credit (I'd run out). I was after a train, & I looked at the driver & said "surely you aren't going to through me off?", he shrugged and said "Don't blame me if an inspector gets on" & drove off with me on board. I was highly relieved. Interestingly when I came to recredit my oyster it had a negative balance & they took the money then, so a better system would be some amber alarm that says "we will let you travel this once and charge you later, but you are out of credit".

Good point about Wheelchair access, though I would think the extra time for wheelchairs to board buses would play havoc with the timetables.
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Re: The New London Bus

Postby REI » Tue May 18, 2010 12:05 pm

Nick,

The two staff members has to do with the driver in the front cannot check passengers who get on in the back. Granted I do not quite understand if it matters given the way the bendy busses let people board from multiple doors. Maybe it is now a non-issue and the door is for another purpose.

Two stairs might be for ease of boarding/unboarding. Fewer people trying to use the stairs when the driver wants to start up?

The wheelchair access already happens. Notice how the busses have places to for wheelchairs and people with other types of wheeled devices. The hit to the schedule is nothing compared to the traffic. Busses do not run to time in any precise sense. The signs that tell you when one is coming along is helps a lot.

The Oyster card does allow you to register so it will automatically top up. No need to worry about a balance. Some people are on a fixed payment per month so they should never run out. Folks like me are on a PAYG but with top up so we have no issues. It is only the folks who use the card as a pre-pay option (you load the card) that could be caught out. Many locations have a machine for you to check to see if there is enough prior to boarding. In your case I think the entry to the bus triggered a debit that you later had to cover. Similar as the PAYG given the top up happens the next day while the card is showing it already happened.
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Re: The New London Bus

Postby Nick » Tue May 18, 2010 4:04 pm

John,

The Oyster auto top up only works with Tube stations, and you have to tell the system which tube station, and approximately when you will be swiping. It just plain doesn't work for someone like me who uses the bus only.
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Re: The New London Bus

Postby REI » Tue May 18, 2010 10:05 pm

Nick wrote:The Oyster auto top up only works with Tube stations, and you have to tell the system which tube station, and approximately when you will be swiping. It just plain doesn't work for someone like me who uses the bus only.


Nick,

That is not my experience. We might be talking about slightly different things.

I have auto top up and I do use buses some of the time. When I get on with no money on the card it tops up. I remember one time when it happened on the bus.

My top up I mean the card is linked to a bank account. I do not have to be anywhere in particular from what I know.

There has been a couple of times when the top up did not work as I did not keep enough cash in the specific account (not the main account). The card and the station think my card has a fresh £20 pounds on it and then 24 hours later I get a notice from LU that the top up failed. They have no ability to pull the money back though they can cancel the card. I can fix the problem by doing an online top up and that requires me to go to a specific station the next day or later.

Part of the reason I like the auto top up is they also guarantee they will replace and refund any balance if the card is lost of stolen. I have lost one before. They just moved the money to a new card after I reported the old one lost.

Tangent: I am loving the fact I can use the Oyster card at the train stations now for trips within a certain distance of London. Bus, train, boat and Tube all with one pass.
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Re: The New London Bus

Postby Nick » Wed May 19, 2010 4:11 am

John,

I like Oyster too and I would love you to be right about the auto top up, because it would make my life easier, but I did try to set it up & wasn't able to because I only use buses.
Activate by making a journey at a Tube, DLR or Overground station or tram stop
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Re: The New London Bus

Postby REI » Wed May 19, 2010 10:59 am

Nick wrote:John,

The Oyster auto top up only works with Tube stations, and you have to tell the system which tube station, and approximately when you will be swiping. It just plain doesn't work for someone like me who uses the bus only.


You are not using the same auto top up as I am using. What you are describing is what I need to do when I make a change in my plan. My card did top up when I used a bus. I do not use the buses often as I mostly walk when I am where a bus would be an option.
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Re: The New London Bus

Postby Nick » Wed May 19, 2010 11:38 am

REI wrote:
Nick wrote:John,

The Oyster auto top up only works with Tube stations, and you have to tell the system which tube station, and approximately when you will be swiping. It just plain doesn't work for someone like me who uses the bus only.


You are not using the same auto top up as I am using. What you are describing is what I need to do when I make a change in my plan. My card did top up when I used a bus. I do not use the buses often as I mostly walk when I am where a bus would be an option.


Did you follow my link? That goes to the only Auto-Topup that I was able to find, if there is a another can you give me the link please? TIA
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Re: The New London Bus

Postby Nick » Wed May 19, 2010 12:15 pm

Meanwhile the New London Bus isn't going down well with everyone:

OI! BORIS!! Why don’t you just start building real Routemasters again? You already have the plans for this almost perfect bus. Push to envelope to the maximum to get 70+ seats – think of rear and front steering to get even more punters in a better steerable vehicle – one curved stair and only one open platform at the back – instead of faffing about wasting even more of our money on yet another arty-farty multi-functional lemon? 8+ more bums on seats would pay for a conductor and we could do with the jobs. Simples!


The traditional Routemaster conveys a sense of friendliness, the kind of bus you wouldn’t mind being run over by, and to succeed the new version has to convey that too. Would you spurn conventional buses for the pleasure of travelling on it? I currently have a choice of modern versus Routemaster on the No 15 route and I always wait for a Routemaster to enjoy the hugely superior ride.


I remember when I was young, and I lived in London, running after the Routemaster and catching the white pole to leap aboard as it accelerated away. The conductors didn’t like it, but once you were on, they couldn’t do anything. You could also hop off when you liked if the bus slowed down in traffic. Elf ‘n Safety and control of the masses has put a stop to any freedom and fun like that. BTW, how many people ever actually fell off the back of a Routemaster?


Total fail. The great advantage of the Routemasters was that they were much smaller – in particular much narrower – than their replacements. They could navigate narrow London streets more quickly and were less likely to be held-up. These monsters are as useful as chocolate teapots.


What passengers want from their bus is a seat, but a modern one-person double decker has very few seats downstairs. Enormous amounts of space are wasted, particularly with the staircase, which TfL (unlike most other operators) insists must be straight.
The new Routemaster design is actually worse than current double-deckers. It has two staircases. Why? Why not go the whole hog as well, and install a lift, and perhaps also a buffet, and a small Tie Rack outlet?
It has three doors. Why? Why can’t disabled passengers enter through the front door if the bus is in one-person mode? It is claimed to be “better-ventilated” than modern sauna buses, but the pictures show no opening windows.
From the glimpse on the video, it looks as if all the unnecessary staircases and doors may take up so much space that there will very few seats downstairs. Passengers may have hated the bendy buses, but TfL loved them. Its ambition is quite clearly to create a bendy-bus experience on the lower deck of the new vehicle.
The total number of seats, across both decks, will be 62 – ten fewer than on the most commonly-used variant of the old Routemaster, and also fewer than in a modern double-decker. This is a deeply retrograde step.
It also looks as if there will no longer be any seats at the front of the top deck – eliminating one of the great pleasures of London bus travel, beloved of generations of tourists. (TfL denies this, saying there will be seats. But the fact is that their own video shows seats on the top deck behind the staircase, and no seats on the top deck in front of the staircase.)


http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/andre ... ised-mess/
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