New double deckers in London?

2010
05.19

The new prototype, called Routemaster, was unveiled earlier this week by London mayor Boris Johnson. Theoretically, these buses would be up and running as soon as 2012, just in time for the Olympics, at the luxuriant cost of £7,8 millions. However, experts have made made it clear already: now is not the time to achieve such extravagant projects, nor will it be anytime soon - there are more important priorities at the moment than having a green and stylish bus float.

The new prototype features additional doors, windowed staircases (that’s right, two staircases) and last but not least, shuttered platform at the back, allowing passengers to hop on and off (or as the popular saying goes, hop on and fall off) as they please. One slight difference with the Bendy Buses is the new hybrid system: 40% less gas would be consumed on Routemasters.

Obviously, Londoners are not that impressed with this effort: only 20% of the population said that Routemasters were a transportation priority, massively voting for the retirement of articulated buses, additional information at bus stops (countdown service) and reliability of the Tube, instead.

Speaking of exuberant and tacky projects… If it were only up to me, I’d let the Orbit Tower be an eccentric fantasy rather than an current project and focus on the efficiency of London’s transportation system. Sure, the Routemasters are sleek and nicely scheduled for the Olympics - but is it really a fundamental need right now? Aren’t there enough things to fix with the Underground and the trains already, especially getting it over with those damned “Planned Engineering Works” ?

Londoners out there, what are your thoughts on this? Fix the tube or freshen up the buses?

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