|The 600 figure has grown...|
This news has certainly come as a surprise to me.
So then, TFL is planning to extend its fleet of the 3 door 2 staircase hybrid buses to 1,000. Previously they'd planned to extend the fleet of NRM’s by 35, which I wrote about in my previous article.
From 3rd February 2016 TFL board paper titled ‘New Routemaster’.
The Board is asked to approve additional unbudgeted Financial, Project and Procurement Authority for the purchase of up to 195 additional New Routemaster (NRM) buses.This is an increase to the current project scope. Authority is also sought for iBus and ticketing equipment, and normal mid-life refurbishment and related matters necessary for the operation of these additional NRMs. The additional authorities requested and the EFC figures are in the paper on Part 2 of the agenda.
Unbudgeted? Does this mean there is no money allocated to buy the extra New Routemaster buses? This means the TFL board will have to approve the extra 165 NRM’s.
On 21 January 2016, the Finance and Policy Committee considered a similar paper, which recommended the purchase of 30 NRMs. The Committee requested an option for the purchase of a further 165 NRMs to also be considered by the Board.
So we'll have to wait and see what happens at their meeting on 3rd February to find out if they're going to consider buying the extra 165 New Routemaster buses which are manufactured by Wrightbus. If TFL gets 1,000 then the design rights of the New Routemaster will pass over to TFL from Wrightbus.
One issue I need to raise about the New Routemasters concerns fare evasion. TFL removed the bendy buses in 2011 because they claimed it increased fare evasion, but the same problem now occurs with the New Routemaster bus as passengers board by the rear and don't touch in at the reader by the rear door. The system is known as ‘proof of payment’ which enables people to board by any door. Hopefully TFL will increase the number of revenue inspectors in order to catch more fare evaders.
The penalties for fare evasion are £40 if you pay within 21 days and after that it increases to £80, which includes a criminal record if you plead guilty in court. More information on fare evasion can be seen here. Yes, the criminal record comes as a surprise!
London is not the only city which provides the proof of payment system; in San Francisco, California, and the USA the transport authority Muni (SFMTA) have ‘proof of payment’ system on all of their bus routes. The fines go up to $110 for those who don’t provide evidence that the passenger paid their fare.
Anyway, here is some news from LOTS:
All the new LTs for route 68 (LT 664-683/5/6) have now been delivered although none are yet in service, pending door mods. LT665 has been shipped to Singapore to act as a promotional bus for Wrights at a forthcoming event and also to support Go-Ahead’s recent grant of several franchised bus routes. Those for Abellio route 3/N3 (LT 684, 687-710) had been held up due to storms in the Irish Sea meaning that shipment had been suspended. However the first few have now arrived and the type change should start to occur fairly soon.
So we will be seeing the New Routemaster bus visiting Singapore again. Also, checking on London Bus Routes website, it shows that the New Routemasters are expecting to enter service on the 6th February 2016.
Still isolated examples of some recent new batches remain to enter actual service, being Go-Ahead WHV110 and Metroline LT651, although the last of Arriva’s E40Hs (HA19) is now running. Stagecoach’s new Volvo B5LHs are now going onto route 47 fairly gradually and Arriva KT’s E20Ds (ENR1-7) should be on the B13 also fairly soon.
I found out that Arriva’s Enviro200 buses will have the Enviro200 MMC bodywork which has a similar design to the Enviro400H City on route 78. The Alexander Dennis Enviro200MMC also operates on route 499.
Route 69 will pass from Stagecoach to Tower Transit next Saturday 6th February using 19 Stagecoach Tridents on loan. Route 26/N26 will pass from Tower Transit to CT Plus from 27th February using 20 Tower Transit Enviro400s on loan. In both cases these changes are well in advance of the original formal contract dates. The long awaited extension of Tower Transit route 70 beyond Acton to Chiswick Park finally happened on Saturday 30th January.
The original start date for Tower Transit to fully operate route 69 is the 30th April 2016, according to London Bus Routes website.
Also, the Route 26 contract starts with CT Plus on the 25th June 2016 with new Enviro400H City buses. We may see the new Enviro400H City being delivered early for the route 26 contract.
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"London United bus LT150 (LTZ 1150), Regent Street Bus Cavalcade (05)" by John Pannell from Watford, UK - 2014-Year-of-the-Bus-Cavalcade--DSCF1556. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:London_United_bus_LT150_(LTZ_1150),_Regent_Street_Bus_Cavalcade_(05).jpg#/media/File:London_United_bus_LT150_(LTZ_1150),_Regent_Street_Bus_Cavalcade_(05).jpg