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Sunday, 17 May 2015

Update on London Buses routes 73, 149 & 168

Yes more of these are still coming.
TFL have recently published their press release regarding Route 73's conversion to New Routemaster vehicles on 15th May 2015.
Route 73 to be served by New Routemaster buses:
TfL has announced that the next bus route to be served entirely by New Routemaster buses will be route 73.
A phased conversion of the route, which is operated by Arriva and runs between Victoria and Stoke Newington, via Hyde Park Corner, Marble Arch, Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road, Euston, King's Cross St Pancras, Angel and Essex Road is now underway. The route, and the N73 route, will be running entirely with New Routemaster buses from July.

During peaks hours, 53 of these state of the art buses will be in passenger service to carry the 35,000 people who travel on the route each week day.
Route 73 will operate with the rear platform closed when the bus is moving, with large numbers of passengers able to quickly board and alight using all three sets of doors and two staircases at bus stops.
To date thirteen bus routes in London are operating with New Routemasters. Once route 73 has fully converted there will be over 500 of these bespoke buses in passenger service. The conversion of route 73 will be another step towards the delivery of 800 New Routemasters on London's streets by 2016, reducing CO2 emissions in the Capital by around 27,500 tonnes a year.
TfL has recently awarded contracts to convert routes 149 and 168 to New Routemasters with exact dates for conversions to be set later this year.
A customer satisfaction survey conducted in November 2014 revealed that customers who travel on the New Routemasters are more satisfied than those who travel on standard buses - scoring 87 vs. 84 points out of 100, respectively. The survey also found that New Routemaster routes have had a higher rise in overall satisfaction (five points) than standard routes (two points) over the last two years.
The TfL Board approved the purchase of a further 200 New Routemaster buses on 5 November 2014. These buses improve the journey experience of passengers, enhance air quality, reduce vehicle noise and cut emissions with associated health benefits
Currently, Route 73 have New Routemasters in operation as 10 of the vehicles entered in service on 14th May 2015, according to London Vehicle Finder.
Again, the new route conversion to New Routemasters will not have a 2nd crew member.
It's interesting how the New Routemasters gained the highest customer satisfaction, aside from some complaints over faulty air cooling issues during sunny days. Just to note that the New Routemaster project costs £286 million which is nearly £300 million from TFL’s budget.
News for route 149 and 168:
I have found the start dates for routes 149 and 168, taken from London Bus Routes website.
Route 149 will have New Routemasters on 17th October 2015 which will be operated by Arriva and Route 168 to Metroline which will start their contract on 26thSeptember 2015 with New Routemaster vehicles. Currently, route 168 is operated by Arriva London till the end of their contract in late September because Metroline won the contract.
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Image attribution
"New Bus for London (7803411292)" by Sludge G - two Borismasters pass - and a reflection of one of them.Uploaded by Ultra7. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:New_Bus_for_London_(7803411292).jpg#/media/File:New_Bus_for_London_(7803411292).jpg

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