600 new buses by 2016
Six hundred of the Routemaster-inspired New Bus for London vehicles will be delivered by 2016.
By incorporating the rear open platform, the bus reinstates the 'hop-on, hop-off' service.
Other features include three entrances, two staircases and wheelchair access to enable fast boarding and alighting, long-life LED lighting and a new seat design.
The first of these state-of-the-art vehicles started serving the busy route 38 between Victoria and Hackney in February.
A further 30, enough to convert a full route, will enter service in April next year.
No decision has been made yet on which routes will be converted, however the new buses will be deployed on busy central London routes where their unique characteristics can bring the maximum benefit.
King's Cross-based Heatherwick Studio, which designed the 2012 Games cauldron, helped develop both the interior and exterior to ensure the project remained true to the concept of creating a new London icon for the 21st century.
The buses are being manufactured by Wrightbus in Northern Ireland and many components, including engines, chassis, superstructure and seats, are also manufactured in the UK.
About the New Bus for London
- The design makes use of lightweight materials. Glass highlights key features and gives a light and airy feel inside the bus
- The bus has a step-free gangway on the lower deck from the front to the back, allowing easier access for disabled people and passengers with buggies
- There will be a large wheelchair bay directly opposite the ramped centre door
- Passengers will be alerted to the next stop by audio and visual announcements
- A T-Loop system transmits announcements for passengers with hearing aids
Better for the environment
- The bus uses the latest green diesel-electric hybrid technology
- A battery pack powers the electric motor. It is charged by a generator and through regenerative braking (where the system recycles the energy lost during the braking motion)
- Stop-start technology means the engine only runs when it needs to charge the battery
- The new bus produces less than half the harmful emissions of conventional diesel buses and is twice as fuel efficient