Monday, 2 February 2015

New cost for individual extra 200 New Routemaster buses now revealed

Since TFL ordered the extra 200 New Routemasters, their latest board paper shows that it costs £349,500 per bus, a saving of £5,000 on their current plan. Multiplying the new price of £349,500 by 200 gives a total of £69,900,000.

So the grand total of the original price of £224m (which includes operation) for the 600 New Routemasters goes up to £293,900,000. This has taken the cost to over a quarter of a billion for the New Routemaster buses.

Wow! That is nearly £300 million for the New Routemaster project!

As Route 15 is due to convert to New Routemasters in conjunction with Route 55, in regards of 2nd crew members (or conductors as people known) TFL stated:
Every London bus route is different and as these buses are rolled out across the capital TfL will consider the best possible operating arrangements on a route by route basis. As the Mayor has previously made clear, there will not be a requirement to have a conductor on every bus at all times. New Routemasters already operate without a conductor on routes 8, 9, 137, 148 and 453.”

Don't get confused though as there were AEC Routemasters in the past which had doors and they were the RMC, RCL, RMA, RMF and FRM type. During the early 2000’s the RMC1461 which had doors, operated on Route 15 and it was preserved by Stagecoach London. So don’t think of the name ‘Routemaster’ and confuse it for an average open rear back bus when in reality the New Routemaster is basically a two staircase and three door bus.

The extra 200 will be different to the rest of the 600 in which TFL stated:
The only other significant change to date on the production vehicles is an alteration to the rear door, with modifications to the mechanism, voice warning and markings to improve safety when the door opens inwards.”
Also, the fleet will have modifications to the air cooling system which had people complaining during the summer of 2014.

But yet, the London Bus fleet, which is the greenest and does not emit any emissions has the Electric bus and Hydrogen bus. There are only 8 electric buses which operate on routes 507/521, H98 and 312. Also, there are only 8 hydrogen buses that only operate on route RV1.
There were plans though for London to have 60 prototype Hydrogen buses which would have cost London about $20 million (USD according to Edmunds Auto Observer) for the rollout, but that was back in  2008.

Lastly, TFL is not ordering any more New Routemasters as manufactures are planning to build their own double deck buses with NRM features, probably 3 doors and 2 staircases, it states:
"No decision was proposed on the order of the next 1,000 vehicles as other bus manufacturers were looking to develop their own double-decker buses with NRM features, which would give TfL options when considering future vehicle choices."

So its good news for people who are against the New Routemaster project but bad news for those who like it.

What is your reaction to the new cost for the New Routemaster project? Let me know your feelings about this in the comment section below this article.

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