TfL has announced that the next bus route to be served entirely by New Routemaster buses will be route 73.
A phased conversion of the route, which is operated by Arriva and runs between Victoria and Stoke Newington, via Hyde Park Corner, Marble Arch, Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road, Euston, King's Cross St Pancras, Angel and Essex Road is now underway. The route, and the N73 route, will be running entirely with New Routemaster buses from July.
During peaks hours, 53 of these state of the art buses will be in passenger service to carry the 35,000 people who travel on the route each week day.
Route 73 will operate with the rear platform closed when the bus is moving, with large numbers of passengers able to quickly board and alight using all three sets of doors and two staircases at bus stops.
To date thirteen bus routes in London are operating with New Routemasters. Once route 73 has fully converted there will be over 500 of these bespoke buses in passenger service. The conversion of route 73 will be another step towards the delivery of 800 New Routemasters on London's streets by 2016, reducing CO2 emissions in the Capital by around 27,500 tonnes a year.
The introduction of New Routemaster buses is part of a comprehensive programme to reduce emissions from London's bus fleet, which includes 1,700 hybrids on the street by 2016, accelerating the introduction of ultra low emission Euro VI buses and retrofitting 1,800 older buses to reduce their NOx emissions by up to 88%.
All buses entering the TfL fleet since January are equipped with Euro VI engines and there are now over 500 in service. On average, around 700 new buses enter London's fleet each year.
The effectiveness of Euro VI engines in reducing harmful emissions has been substantiated in testing by TfL that re-creates real world driving conditions in London. During this testing, a bus with a Euro VI Engine was found to have 95% lower NOx emissions than a bus with a Euro V engine (down from 10 g/km to 0.5 g/km). This test result correlates with testing conducted by manufacturers.
TfL has recently awarded contracts to convert routes 149 and 168 to New Routemasters with exact dates for conversions to be set later this year.
A customer satisfaction survey conducted in November 2014 revealed that customers who travel on the New Routemasters are more satisfied than those who travel on standard buses - scoring 87 vs. 84 points out of 100, respectively. The survey also found that New Routemaster routes have had a higher rise in overall satisfaction (five points) than standard routes (two points) over the last two years.
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