Saturday, 29 October 2005
Routemasters of the Universe
London's public transport has been progressively removing the most iconic of London buses - the two person double decker Routemaster and replacing it with single operative double deckers and European style bendy buses. The last Routemaster will be de-commissioned by the end of December. Another route (the 38) finished yesterday and was commented upon by diamond geezer. He has also ridden their bendy Mercedes replacement and noteworthy is that the new post also includes 38 tributes to the 38.
The Routemaster double deckers with the open rear platform, grab rails and twisty stairs are probably considered less safe than the shooshing doors of a more modern bus, but much more fun to ride.
The loading platform and separate conductor meant these buses could get around quite fast with passengers optimising their exits at traffic lights and when the bus was caught in traffic. Some conductors could choose a form of performance art on their routes - Duke Baysee (38 conductor) as an example. The lower deck somehow 'connects' the passengers with the street so inside and outside merge in a very different way from a closed in bus. The top deck (once the smoking deck) gives some great 'above it all' views of the bustle of London. The 73 bus project gives 73 73-word essays about the route 73. "Any more fares, please?"
Tag: London, Routemaster, bus, London Transport, No38