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Routemaster Buses, London

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Rowan
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Routemaster Buses, London

Post by Rowan » Mon February 27th, 2012, 8:18 pm

I saw a story/video a short while ago on Yahoo! UK on the return of the Routemaster buses to London and I'm curious about a few things:

1. If there's jump-on/off ability at the rear, how is fare collected? Are people honest?

2. They indicated that in addition to a driver there will be a conductor. Will he/she be the individual policing passengers, making sure that fares are paid? I thought this at first, but in the video with the story showed what I assumed to be the conductor standing at the front of the bus near the driver.

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Madeleine
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Post by Madeleine » Tue February 28th, 2012, 9:42 am

They used to have a conductor who did indeed go round collecting everybody's fares and keep a general eye on things. That, of course, was in the old days of cash, so now I assume they'll have some sort of portable swipe-machine, or maybe the new buses will have a machine fitted by the "door" where people can swipe their cards, but still pay the conductor if they don't have a travelcard of some sort.
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Rowan
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Post by Rowan » Tue February 28th, 2012, 1:53 pm

Thanks Madeleine!! :)

SGM
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Post by SGM » Tue February 28th, 2012, 7:58 pm

[quote=""Madeleine""]They used to have a conductor who did indeed go round collecting everybody's fares and keep a general eye on things. That, of course, was in the old days of cash, so now I assume they'll have some sort of portable swipe-machine, or maybe the new buses will have a machine fitted by the "door" where people can swipe their cards, but still pay the conductor if they don't have a travelcard of some sort.[/quote]

The info I have seen is that there will be a conductor on board. As they have or are in the process of taking away all the ticket machines at bus stops, that seems to make sense as not absolutely everyone is able to top of their card before a journey.

We were used to the idea of getting and off unregulated on the bendy buses so this is not a new concept for the new route master. You just tend to find a police/bus inspector blitz every now and then when those who haven't swiped or don't have enough money on their card get hauled off and potentially charged (criminal). I use weekly or monthly tickets which means that I get unlimited travel so it really doesn't matter if I swipe my ticket or not. The old Route Master was effectively jump on, jump off so, again, there is nothing original with the new bus. The old one was iconic for many Londoners (like me who do at least four bus journeys a day), but it remains to be seen if the new one will be so.

They are currently running a limited number of these buses on the No. 38 route which covers my neck of the woods but although I have seen many No. 38s over the past couple of days, I have yet to see the new one. It runs on hybrid technology and I heard that it ran out of fuel on the way to its first journey.

I have my reasons for missing the bendy buses.

You really do pick the oddest posts.
Last edited by SGM on Tue February 28th, 2012, 8:10 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Madeleine
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Post by Madeleine » Wed February 29th, 2012, 9:41 am

I think one of the problems with the bendy buses was that they were a magnet for fare-dodgers, especially with the centre doors. Which is presumably why they're taking out the ticket machines at bus stops, as the idea was that you bought your ticket first so could just get on the bus, but of course there are always some who bypass the ticket-buying part. Plus bendies weren't really designed for some of London's narrow roads, I once saw one wedged against a traffic light whilst trying to turn a tight corner, it was well and truly stuck as it couldn't go backwards due to parked cars not giving enough room to manoeuvre.

They had conductors on buses when I was a child ie 1970s, what goes around comes around. I used to be fascinated by the conductor's little machine for some reason, with the little handle that he/she turned to print out your ticket.
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Post by SGM » Wed February 29th, 2012, 7:28 pm

[quote=""Madeleine""]I think one of the problems with the bendy buses was that they were a magnet for fare-dodgers, especially with the centre doors. Which is presumably why they're taking out the ticket machines at bus stops, as the idea was that you bought your ticket first so could just get on the bus, but of course there are always some who bypass the ticket-buying part. Plus bendies weren't really designed for some of London's narrow roads, I once saw one wedged against a traffic light whilst trying to turn a tight corner, it was well and truly stuck as it couldn't go backwards due to parked cars not giving enough room to manoeuvre.

They had conductors on buses when I was a child ie 1970s, what goes around comes around. I used to be fascinated by the conductor's little machine for some reason, with the little handle that he/she turned to print out your ticket.[/quote]

They have taken away the ticket machines because they were too expensive to run. It was always the intention that most people should be encouraged to use Oysters. They seem to have accepted the fare dodgers as a fact of life but hope to discourage them with threats of criminal records, doing the occasional police blitz and having more inspectors. They got rid of the bendy buses because the most important argument for having them was that they were safer for passengers and that proved incorrect. It is, indeed, true that they did cause more than a few problems on London roads which really aren't suitable for them and so they sought a solution that was not quite so long. There was also an element of political point-scoring involved.

Anyone used to commuting on London buses during the rush hour know that, in fact, the conductor can barely move around to collect fares or check Oysters so fare evasion is a fact of life on any bus that does not require you to pay or swipe your card in front of the driver and that, of course, considerably adds to the duration of the journey and slows down traffic just as much as the bendy buses did.

Getting rid of the conductors was first seen as a cost-saving but obviously they have now realised that those arguing against getting rid of them had a point -- they save time and the buses keep moving more because there is less of a queue to get on. Obviously Oyster cards assist with this as well.
Last edited by SGM on Wed February 29th, 2012, 8:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Currently reading - Emergence of a Nation State by Alan Smith

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