|One of two whole bus designs sharing first place in the TfL competition. Design by Capoco Design Ltd, UK. Click to enlarge.|
Transport for London (TfL) has selected Wrightbus as the preferred manufacturer for the final design and build of the New Bus for London, based on the iconic Routemaster. The original double-decker AEC Routemaster buses were produced until 1968, and saw continuous service in London until 2005. In 2008, TfL held an open design contest for new buses for London, with the results to be passed on to the selected manufacturer—now Wrightbus. (Earlier post.)
The new bus will incorporate the latest hybrid technology and will be 40% more fuel efficient than conventional diesel buses and 15% more fuel efficient than current London hybrid buses. NOx emissions will be reduced by 40% and PM by 33% when compared with conventional diesel buses.
|The second winning whole bus design, from Aston Martin and Foster + Partners, UK. Click to enlarge.|
The bus is to offer an open platform—a defining feature allowing the reinstatement of a hop-on, hop-off bus service. The platform will have the facility to be closed off at certain times, such as at night. The bus will have three doors (including the rear platform) and two staircases, giving an innovative new design and aiding speedier and smoother boarding. Passenger capacity will be at least 87.
Wrightbus will work on finalizing their design with initial outlines expected in the New Year. The first new bus will be on the streets of London in 2011, boosting London’s low emission bus fleet, which is already the largest in Europe.
In the meantime, TfL will continue the program of converting the fleet to hybrid technology, and retrofitting buses to Euro 4 standard as part of the Mayor’s Air Quality Strategy.
The invitation to negotiate was issued to six bus manufacturers in May. Although Wrightbus was chosen on Wednesday 23 December 2009, there will be a 10-day standstill period. (This is a mandatory period required by the public procurement regulations between announcing the winner of a contract and the signing of the contract.)
Winners in the New Bus for London Competition