Customers on bus route 285, which runs between Heathrow airport and Kingston, will see their existing single deck buses replaced by low emission double deck hybrid buses from this Saturday 13 June. The new buses will boost capacity on the busy route by nearly 60%, making journeys more comfortable for thousands of customers.
The hybrid buses are also quieter and more fuel-efficient than standard diesel buses - reducing CO2 emissions by at least 30%. TfL is currently introducing 1,700 of these buses across the Capital by 2017, with 1,300 already in service.
Route 285, which runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week, is operated by RATP Dev London and runs from Heathrow Airport Central to Kingston via Harlington Corner, Hatton Cross, Faggs Road, Feltham, Hanworth, Hampton Hill, Teddington and Hampton Wick.
John Barry, TfL's Head of Network Development for buses, said: 'Customers travelling on route 285's new hybrid double deck buses will now benefit from nearly 60% more capacity - with buses able to carry 87 rather than 55 people. They will also experience lower noise and vibration levels on these environmentally friendly buses. These changes are just one example of how we are improving local bus services whilst also improving the environment and air quality in the Capital.'
Richard Hall, RATP Dev London's Managing Director, said: ''We are committed to working in partnership with TfL, our suppliers and contractors to introduce environmentally friendly transportation products to the market thus lowering our carbon footprint. We are pleased to be able to do this on route 285, with these low emission hybrid buses, and at the same time also enhancing the customer experience for passengers.''
This service change is part of TfL's management and development of a network that comprises of around 700 routes across Greater London, operated by 7,600 buses at peak times, carrying more than 2.4 billion passengers every year. TfL keeps the network under regular review, working with the London boroughs and other partners to help ensure that services can respond to London's changing travel needs.
Since TfL was formed in 2000 it has invested strongly in London's bus network - resulting in a 69% increase in passenger numbers. London Buses now carry more than 2.4 billion passengers a year, which equates to half of all bus journeys made in England.
In recognition of the continued need to invest in bus services - with a increase in demand from the city's rapidly growing population - TfL's latest Business Plan has dedicated around £500m to improve the network over the period from 2015/16 to 2020/21. This will include funding for over 500 extra buses, which will create capacity for an extra 2.9 million customer journeys each week. There is also an additional £200m, which will be invested in supporting the reliability of the bus network at a local level with bus priority schemes. A further £25m will be used to fund customer-focused bus driver training to improve customer service.
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