London double-decker hybrid bus design unveiled

Posted on May 18, 2010

[IMAGE]London-doubledecker-hybrid-full.jpg[/IMAGE]Transport for London unveiled the final design of the new hybrid double-decker bus, based on the much-loved Routemaster, on Monday during an event attending by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and London’s Transport Commissioner, Peter Hendy.

The bus, which uses the latest green technology will be 15 percent more fuel efficient than existing hybrid buses, 40 percent more efficient than conventional diesel double-decker buses and much quieter, according to a Transport for London (TfL) statement.

The pioneering design makes use of lightweight materials, with glass highlighting key features and producing a light and airy feel inside the bus. A glass "swoop" at the rear and off-side focus on the two staircases and provide a dramatic visual effect. An asymmetric design for the front-end completes the futuristic look.

The open platform is a defining feature, shared with the old Routemaster design, and allows the reinstatement of a hop-on, hop-off service. Three doors and two staircases will aid speedier and smoother boarding.

Wrightbus, the vehicle manufacturer, and TfL have been working with Heatherwick Studio as a collaborative design partner taking the lead on the styling of the bus to support Wrightbus in the design and development process.

The bus will feature two staircases enabling easier and quicker access to and from the upper deck. There will be two conventional doors and an open rear platform, which has the option to be closed off.

Wrightbus engineers are working on a static mock up of the bus to be complete later this year with the first prototype to be delivered late next year, the new buses will enter service by 2012.

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