New Bus for London in service

Mayor of London Boris Johnson’s New Bus for London finally entered service on 27 February.

NBFL is the three-door, twin-staircase, hybrid electric double-decker developed in partnership with Wrightbus and Heatherwick Studio; the so-called ‘Borismaster’ otherwise dubbed the ‘new Routemaster’ and at Transport for London called the LT.

The launch was delayed by a week by hold-ups in getting the first bus certified. And plans to launch three into service were put on hold, with just one bus — LT2 — available for the first couple of weeks.

It managed to operate around two or three round trips a day on the main section of route 38 between Victoria and Hackney Central, with a second driver acting as ‘conductor’ to ensure that passengers step safely off and on the open rear platform.

The first day’s journeys were packed full — mainly with enthusiasts — but the bus generated a lot of wider interest. Ordinary Londoners made a point of trying to ride on it and it was noticeable how many were photographing its exterior and interior on their mobile phones. Many of these people also expressed generally positive opinions of the new bus, especially the care and attention given to its interior design.

See April 2012 Buses for our account of LT2’s first three days in service.

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