London Buses

Last updated

London Buses
Buses roundel.svg
Stagecoach East London LT261 on TfL bus route 8 at Bank, May 2022.jpg
New Routemaster on route 8 operated by Stagecoach London in May 2022
Parent Transport for London
Founded11 November 1999 (1999-11-11)
Headquarters London
Service area Greater London
Berkshire
Buckinghamshire
Essex
Hertfordshire
Kent
Surrey
Service typeBus transport network
Stops19,000 [1]
Fleet8,795 (March 2022)
Daily ridership2.09 billion annually (2019/20)
Fuel type Diesel, Hybrid, Electric and Hydrogen fuel cell
Website tfl.gov.uk/modes/buses/ OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg

London Buses is the subsidiary of Transport for London (TfL) that manages most bus services in London, England. It was formed following the Greater London Authority Act 1999 that transferred control of London Regional Transport (LRT) bus services to TfL, controlled by the Mayor of London.

Contents

Overview

Metroline New Routemaster on Park Lane in September 2015 NEW - LT 559 (LTZ 1559) Metroline London New Routemaster.jpg
Metroline New Routemaster on Park Lane in September 2015
Go-Ahead London and Stagecoach buses in Ilford in 2017 Buses-ChapelRd-Ilford-P1410571 (36879801222).jpg
Go-Ahead London and Stagecoach buses in Ilford in 2017

Transport for London's key areas of direct responsibility through London Buses are the following:

Bus operations

All bus operations are undertaken under a tendering system in which operators bid for routes in return for a set price per route operated. Until April 2022, contracts were normally for five years, with two-year extensions available if performance criteria were met. [2] From April 2022, contracts will be for seven years with a performance based two year optional extension. [3]

Routes are set up, controlled and tendered out by Transport for London (TfL) and they provide day to day assistance via CentreComm which coordinates a large scale network of Network Traffic Controllers to help with any traffic issues that may occur. Operators provide staff to drive the buses, provide the buses to operate and also adhere to set TfL guidelines. Operators are then in return paid per mile that each bus runs, the pricing is announced on new tenders.

Publications

London Buses publishes a variety of bus maps. In 2002, TfL introduced the first spider maps. [4] Rather than attempting to cover the entire city, these maps are centred on a particular locality or bus station, and convey the route information in the schematic style of Harry Beck's influential Tube map, capitalising on TfL's iconic style of information design. The arachnoid form of bus routes radiating from a centre earned them the nickname spider maps, although TfL refer to them on their website as route maps. The maps are displayed at most major bus stops, and can be downloaded in PDF format via the Internet from the TfL website. [5]

The legal identity of London Buses is London Bus Services Limited (LBSL), [6] a wholly owned subsidiary of Transport for London. East Thames Buses was the trading name of another wholly owned subsidiary of TfL called, rather confusingly, London Buses Limited (LBL). [7]

LBL was formed on 1 April 1985 as part of the privatisation of London bus services, and acted as an arm's-length subsidiary of TfL's precursor organisation, London Regional Transport (LRT), holding twelve bus operating units (from late 1988) and other assets. The operating units were sold off in 1994/95, and their purchasers make up the majority of companies awarded bus operating tenders from the current London Buses (LBSL).

After 1994/95, the LBL company lay dormant, passing from LRT to TfL. It was resurrected when East Thames Buses was formed, separated by a Chinese wall from LBSL, and acted as a London bus operator by proxy.

Scope

The local bus network in London is one of the largest and most comprehensive in the world. As of March 2021, 9,068 buses operate on over 700 different routes. [8] In 2019/20, 2.09 billion passenger journeys were made. [9]

Fares and concessions

Buses in the London Buses network accept Travelcards, Oyster card products (including bus passes and Oyster pay as you go) and contactless debit and credit cards. Cash fares have not been available since 6 July 2014, but Day Bus passes (issued either as a single use Oyster card, or on paper from station ticket machines) were re-introduced on 2 January 2015. [10] Single journey fares used to be charged in relation to length of journey (fare stages), but are now charged as single flat fares for any length of journey. From 2000, the flat fare was higher for journeys in Zone 1 than in outer zones, although from 2004 this difference was eliminated, the change coinciding with the introduction of Oyster card flat fares. As of 2022, the single fare is £1.65.

With Oyster pay as you go, users are charged a set amount for single journeys, although there is a "daily cap", which limits the maximum amount of money that will be deducted from the balance, regardless of how many buses are taken that day (from 04.30 to 04.29 the next day). Alternatively, weekly and monthly passes may also be purchased and loaded onto an Oyster card.

Passengers using contactless payment cards are charged the same fares as on Oyster pay as you go. Unlike Oyster cards, contactless cards also have a 7-day fare cap though it currently only operates on a Monday-Sunday basis. [11]

Under 11s can travel free on London buses and trams at any time unaccompanied by an adult; they do not need an Oyster card or a ticket. [12] Children aged 11 to 15 travel free on buses with an 11–15 Oyster photocard; without an Oyster card or Travelcard, they have to pay the full adult fare. Visitors can have a special discount added to an ordinary Oyster card at TfL's Travel Information Centres. There are also concessions for London residents aged 16 to 18. [13]

The Freedom Pass scheme allows Greater London residents over state pension age, and those with a disability, to travel free at any time on buses and TfL's rail services. People who have concessionary bus passes issued by English local authorities travel free on TfL bus services at any time.

Operators

Tower Transit and Stagecoach London buses at Aldgate bus station in October 2014 Aldgate Trio (15653020515).jpg
Tower Transit and Stagecoach London buses at Aldgate bus station in October 2014

Current

Bus services in London are operated by (in order of fleet size): [8]

Historic

Each company has its own operating code, and every bus garage in London has its own garage code.

Vehicles

A Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 bodied Volvo B9TL in March 2013 LX60DWN Sidcup Station (16113767067).jpg
A Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 bodied Volvo B9TL in March 2013

As of March 2022, the London Buses fleet total of 8,795 buses includes 3,854 hybrid buses, 785 battery electric buses, and 22 hydrogen fuel cell buses. [14] The zero emission fleet is the second largest in Europe, behind Moscow. [15] All buses have been low-floor and accessible since 2006, [16] one of the first major cities in the world to achieve this. [17]

The various bus operators providing services under contract to London Buses operate a wide variety of vehicles, about the only immediately obvious common feature being their use of a largely red livery (mandatory since 1997). [18] [19] For each bus route, London Buses sets a specification for buses to be used, with the choice of particular vehicle that meets the specification left up to the operator. [20] Particular examples of London Buses specification include the use of separate exit doors (increasingly unusual on buses in the United Kingdom outside London) and, on double-deckers, the use of a straight staircase. [21] Additionally, London Buses has previously specified that vehicles operating in London use traditional printed roller destination blinds, whereas in most other parts of the country, electronic dot matrix or LED displays are the norm on new buses. [21]

iBus

All of London's buses use the London iBus system, an Automatic Vehicle Location system that provides passengers with audio visual announcements and is able to trigger priority at traffic junctions. The system was on trial in 2006, and was extended to all bus routes by 2009. [22]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tramlink</span> Light rail tram system in South London

London Trams, previously Tramlink and Croydon Tramlink, is a light rail tram system serving Croydon and surrounding areas in South London, England. It began operation in 2000, the first tram system in the London region since 1952. It is managed by London Trams, a public body part of Transport for London (TfL), and has been operated by FirstGroup since 2017. Tramlink is one of two light rail networks in Greater London, the other being the Docklands Light Railway.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">London Underground</span> Public rapid transit system in London, UK

The London Underground is a rapid transit system serving Greater London and some parts of the adjacent counties of Buckinghamshire, Essex and Hertfordshire in England.

National Rail (NR) is the trading name licensed for use by the Rail Delivery Group, an unincorporated association whose membership consists of the passenger train operating companies (TOCs) of England, Scotland, and Wales. The TOCs run the passenger services previously provided by the British Railways Board, from 1965 using the brand name British Rail. Northern Ireland, which is bordered by the Republic of Ireland, has a different system. National Rail services share a ticketing structure and inter-availability that generally do not extend to services which were not part of British Rail.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Transport for London</span> Local government body responsible for the transport system in Greater London

Transport for London (TfL) is a local government body responsible for most of the transport network in London, United Kingdom.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Oyster card</span> Payment method for public transport in London

The Oyster card is a payment method for public transport in London in England, United Kingdom. A standard Oyster card is a blue credit-card-sized stored-value contactless smart card. It is promoted by Transport for London (TfL) and can be used on travel modes across London including London Buses, London Underground, the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), London Overground, Tramlink, some river boat services, and most National Rail services within the London fare zones. Since its introduction in June 2003, more than 86 million cards have been used.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Travelcard</span> Ticket for the London local transport

The Travelcard is an inter-modal travel ticket for unlimited use on the London Underground, London Overground, Elizabeth line, Docklands Light Railway, London Trams, London Buses and National Rail services in the Greater London area. Travelcards can be purchased for a period of time varying from one day to a year, from Transport for London, National Rail and their agents. Depending on where it is purchased, and the length of validity, a Travelcard is either printed on a paper ticket with a magnetic stripe or encoded onto an Oyster card, Transport for London's contactless electronic smart card. The cost of a Travelcard is determined by the area it covers and, for this purpose, London is divided into a number of fare zones. The Travelcard season ticket for unlimited travel on London Buses and the London Underground was launched on 22 May 1983 by London Transport. One Day Travelcards and validity on other transport modes were added from 1984 onwards. The introduction of the Travelcard caused an increase in patronage and reduced the number of tickets that needed to be purchased by passengers.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dartford railway station</span> Railway station in Kent, England

Dartford railway station serves the town of Dartford in Kent, England. It is 17 miles 12 chains (27.6 km) down the line from London Charing Cross. Train services from the station are operated by Southeastern and Thameslink. Southeastern also manages the station. Dartford is a major interchange station in the North Kent region of the Southeastern network. Ticket barriers control access to the platforms.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Buses in London</span> Overview of bus transit in London

Buses have been used as a mode of public transport in London since 1829, when George Shillibeer started operating a horse-drawn omnibus service from Paddington to the City of London. In the decades since their introduction, the red London bus has become a symbol of the city.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Transport for West Midlands</span>

Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) is the public body responsible for co-ordinating transport services in the West Midlands metropolitan county in England. It is an executive body of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), with bus franchising and highway management powers similar to Transport for London. TfWM's policies and strategy are set by the Transport Delivery Committee of the WMCA.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Freedom Pass</span> UK concessionary travel scheme

Freedom Pass is a concessionary travel scheme, which began in 1973, to provide free travel to residents of Greater London, England, who are aged 66 and over or who have a disability. The scheme is funded by local authorities and coordinated by London Councils. Originally the pass was a paper ticket, but since 2004 it has been encoded on to a contactless smartcard compatible with Oyster card readers.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cardiff Bus</span> Municipal bus operator in Cardiff, Wales

Cardiff Bus is the dominant operator of bus services in Cardiff, Wales and the surrounding area, including Barry and Penarth. The company is wholly owned by Cardiff Council and is one of the few municipal bus companies to remain in council ownership.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fares and ticketing on the Mass Rapid Transit (Singapore)</span>

Because the rail operators are government-assisted profit-based corporations, fares and ticketing on Singapore's Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system are currently aimed at least in breaking even to at least compensate for their costs of running the system. The rail operators collect fares by selling electronic tickets capable of storing data, the price of which is calculated based on the distance between the start and destination stations. These prices increase in fixed stages for standard non-concessionary travel. From the information that was earlier written in these tickets, it is possible to increase the fare according to increments based on approximate distances between stations.

The London Underground metro system of London, England uses a mix of paper and electronic smart-card ticketing.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">London Buses route 15 (Heritage)</span> London heritage bus route

London Buses route 15 (Heritage) was a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, England. It ran between Tower Hill and Trafalgar Square and was operated by Stagecoach London. It was a short working of the standard route 15 and was the last preserved AEC Routemaster route.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Transport in London</span> Transport network serving London and surrounding regions

London has an extensive and developed transport network which includes both private and public services. Journeys made by public transport systems account for 37% of London's journeys while private services accounted for 36% of journeys, walking 24% and cycling 2%. London's public transport network serves as the central hub for the United Kingdom in rail, air and road transport.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Oyster card (pay as you go) on National Rail</span>

The use of Oyster pay as you go (PAYG) payment has now been implemented across National Rail services in the London Travelcard area, some additional stations served by c2c, Govia Thameslink Railway, Greater Anglia, TfL Rail and London Overground, Southeastern highspeed services within London, as well as Gatwick Express and Heathrow Express.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Abellio London</span> Bus company operating services in Greater London

Abellio London is a bus company operating services in Greater London. A subsidiary of Abellio, it operates services under contract to Transport for London. Until September 2018, services were operated in Surrey under the Abellio Surrey brand.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">London fare zones</span> Fare zone system managed by Transport for London

Rail service fares in Greater London and the surrounding area are calculated in accordance with the London fare zones system managed by Transport for London. Within London, all London Underground, National Rail, London Overground, TfL Rail and Docklands Light Railway stations are assigned to six fare zones. Fare zone 1 covers the central area and fare zones 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 form concentric rings around it. Some National Rail stations and almost all Transport for London served stations outside Greater London in the home counties of Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire and Surrey are either included in fare zones 4, 5 or 6 or in extended zones beyond these. Transport for London fare zones are also known simply as zones or travel zones, referring to their use in calculating prices for the travelcards or pay-as-you-go caps. Before flat fares were introduced in 2004, fare zones were used on the London Buses network. London fare zones are also used for calculating the cost of single and return paper tickets, Oyster card pay-as-you-go fares and season tickets.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Smartcards on National Rail</span>

Contactless smartcards are being progressively introduced as an alternative option to paper ticketing on the National Rail system of Great Britain. Tickets for use on National Rail services can be loaded onto any ITSO card.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">The Key (smartcard)</span>

The Key is a contactless ITSO-compatible smartcard developed by the Go-Ahead Group used on buses, trains and other forms of public transport across various areas of the United Kingdom.

References

  1. Dodson, Sean (28 February 2008). "London buses headed in the same direction as Helsinki's high-tech transport system | Technology". The Guardian . Retrieved 2 February 2010.
  2. "London Buses tendering system". Transport for London. 28 December 2010. Retrieved 28 December 2010.
  3. Route 322 reverts to Abellio…again Buses issue 797 August 2021 page 24
  4. Mayor of London. "Transport Strategy – Buses". Archived from the original on 5 October 2007. Retrieved 13 November 2007.
  5. Transport for London. "Bus route maps" . Retrieved 13 November 2007.
  6. Companies House extract company no 3914787 London Bus Services Limited
  7. Companies House extract company no 1900906 London Buses Limited
  8. 1 2 Fleet Audit 31 March 2021 Transport for London
  9. Annual bus statistics 2019/20 Department for Transport
  10. MD1418 January 2015 Fare Changes Greater London Authority 18 November 2014
  11. Leaflet 'Contactless travel' published by TfL.
  12. "Travelling with children".
  13. "Children and students". Transport for London. 19 January 2010. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
  14. "Bus fleet audit—31 March 2022" (PDF). Transport for London. 31 March 2022. Retrieved 12 June 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  15. "ГУП «Мосгортранс»: В город вышел юбилейный 1000-й электробус". mosgortrans.ru. Retrieved 28 December 2021.
  16. "Start of Low floor buses – a Freedom of Information request to Transport for London". WhatDoTheyKnow. 2 December 2013. Retrieved 7 August 2021.
  17. "Transport for London wins Independent Living Award". Transport for London. 14 December 2007. Archived from the original on 10 August 2021. Retrieved 10 August 2021. We have the biggest wheelchair accessible bus network in the world
  18. Butcher, Louise (18 June 2010). "Buses: deregulation in the 1980s" (PDF). House of Commons Library . Archived (PDF) from the original on 9 June 2015. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  19. "Bus graphics standard Issue 2" (PDF). Transport for London . March 2019. Archived (PDF) from the original on 18 February 2020. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  20. "London's Bus Contracting and Tendering Process" (PDF). Transport for London . August 2015. Archived (PDF) from the original on 23 January 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  21. 1 2 "LONDON BUS SERVICES LIMITED Specification for new buses" (PDF). whatdotheyknow.com. London Buses. May 2019. Archived (PDF) from the original on 10 August 2021. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  22. "All London's buses now fitted with iBus". Transport for London. Transport for London. 23 April 2009. Retrieved 18 April 2015.