FOI request detail

Number pronunciation conventions on buses

Request ID: FOI-2656-1920
Date published: 17 December 2019

You asked

We would like to request the TfL formal pronunciation conventions for bus names. For example, the 430 is pronounced ‘four thirty’ over the intercom, but the 337 is typically said as the ‘three three seven’. Given that most buses have an intercom over which most of the names are said, is there a system for how they are pronounced, as it is done differently in the examples shown?

We answered

TfL Ref: 2656-1920

Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 29 November 2019 asking for information about bus number pronunciation guidelines.

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and our information access policy.  I can confirm that we hold some of the information you require.

When iBus was introduced 12 years ago, the route numbers were first pronounced in the most common English vernacular, but based on feedback, many of them were soon changed to what the local populace had grown used to hearing before iBus. There is no document as such that details how the bus route numbers are pronounced.

If this is not the information you are looking for, or if you are unable to access it for any reason, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal as well as information on copyright and what to do if you would like to re-use any of the information we have disclosed.

Yours sincerely

Sara Thomas

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

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