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Old July 13th, 2008, 11:04 PM   #141
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I think one of the key things in the design is the front door area. There would have to be a door right at the very front like current buses. To have anything like the original design you would have to put a door behind this area and therefore the boarding passengers would be behind the driver. Even with a second crew member to assist, like they would on the original Routemaster, the status quo surely must figure in the future design.

This leaves a design at the front using aesthetic elements only of the original like the radiator grill, etc. If the chassis keeps mostly with the original, and with the addition of a rear platform, which I'm sure will have a door on it, then this could be cool. But I'm wondering what the whole point of the thing is. Function would obviously have to take precedence over anything else regardless.

This seems like the Routemaster version of the black cab.
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Old July 13th, 2008, 11:27 PM   #142
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Quote:
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If I were to design a bus for London I'd go for a hybrid between the two: an articulated bus but a bit shorter than the current 18m bendy. Still 3 sets of doors, but also with a top deck with stairs front and back. Seats upstairs, minimal seating downstairs. The bus would be DDA compliant because mobility impaired can go downstairs. It can fulfil the cattle truck function in the peak, but be a more traditional comfortable double decker off-peak. And above all else, it would have air con!
A double-decked bendy -- that's a creative idea nobody has yet thought of! Unique for London! Submit a pencil drawing and get yourself the prize!
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Old July 14th, 2008, 12:14 AM   #143
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cough
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Old July 14th, 2008, 01:18 AM   #144
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OK, so it must at least be RED to be original
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Old July 14th, 2008, 01:25 AM   #145
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Quote:
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No, I think it's pretty clear Boris is against any type of bendy.
Right. I thought it was more of a viability thing. As in a single bendy isn't 'worth it' when you compare the hassle in traffic to the amount of passengers it carries. A double bendy might fix that? Anyway, no matter now.

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The above bus is totally impractical for London, it's simply too long. The current 18M bendy is too long as it is.
God point.
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Old July 14th, 2008, 02:40 AM   #146
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A 12m double decker would have been better than a 18m bendie in terms
of flexibility and maneuverability for sure. That's why Hong Kong has never
permitted registration of bendie buses longer than 15m, but non-bendies
are permitted up to 12m.
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Old July 14th, 2008, 01:00 PM   #147
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How would a rigid bus be more maneuverable than a bendy bus? The articulation in bendy buses is computer controlled* to ensure both halves follow the same course, and I've never seen one have trouble getting around corners.

(* the bus would immediately jack-knife if it weren't, because the engine is at the back)
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Old July 14th, 2008, 08:22 PM   #148
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Quote:
Originally Posted by U Thant View Post
How would a rigid bus be more maneuverable than a bendy bus? The articulation in bendy buses is computer controlled* to ensure both halves follow the same course, and I've never seen one have trouble getting around corners.

(* the bus would immediately jack-knife if it weren't, because the engine is at the back)
I believe 12m buese have smaller turning radius than 18m bendies at least,
otherwise the Transport Department of Hong Kong wouldn't have regarded
a 12m "rigid" vehicle as equivalent to a 15m articulated vehicle, and doesn't
allow anything longer than that.
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Old July 15th, 2008, 12:09 PM   #149
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Well if an open platform is allowed how about bits for people to hang on to the outside like the trams in San Francisco or go the whole hog like the Indian railways.
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Old July 15th, 2008, 03:40 PM   #150
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Buses should feature a crane so that cars parked in bus lanes can be picked up, placed on the roof and carried away. If the bus happens to go under a low bridge thats just unforunate,
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Old August 22nd, 2008, 09:08 AM   #151
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London double-decker cruises to new life in Japan
19 August 2008
Agence France Presse

The double-decker Routemaster bus, a phased-out London icon, is gaining a second life in a Japanese city that believes the red road giant fits right in.

Families and tourists snapped pictures as they queued up at a bus stop to hop onto a double-decker, which has been running on weekends since April in Shimonoseki, on the southern tip of Japan's biggest island of Honshu.

As a summer breeze wafted along the seafront, passengers waved to people on the streets below from the second level of the Routemaster, which stood out conspicuously in the city's fleet of non-descript buses.

"The scenery of this town is totally different when I see it from the second floor," said Mayumi Nakamura, a 33-year-old housewife. "I hope the London bus will be a new symbol of Shimonoseki."

The port city of some 300,000 people once flourished as a gateway to the Korean peninsula and China before World War II and as a whaling hub.

Reminders abound of the historical significance of the city, including a pre-World War II British consulate and the hall where Japan and China signed the 1895 treaty that gave Tokyo control of Taiwan.

"At first I wondered if the London bus would suit the city but now I can tell it's well suited to the retro look of the city," said Chikako Uyama, a 32-year-old nurse.

The number of passengers topped 10,000 in less than four months, well above an initial estimate, said local official Masaru Hamamura.

"The London bus has become very popular as a means of transport for both tourists and local citizens," Hamamura said.

The Routemaster, built in 1962, is among six that were given out by London in a bid to promote the British capital. The others were sent to The Hague, Moscow, Paris, Barbados and Jamaica.

But while the bus is almost untouched on the outside, the city spent more than 10 million yen (91,000 dollars) to overhaul the vehicle, which is now run by a local bus company.

The Routemaster, which has been mostly withdrawn from London due to high costs and safety concerns, had to be altered to meet Japanese regulations, including setting up an emergency exit.

The Routemaster, 8.4 metres (27.7 feet) long and 4.4 metres high, travels some nine kilometres (five and a half miles) a day connecting Shimonoseki station with Chofu, a historical castle town in the suburbs.

The diesel-powered bus can carry a maximum 65 passengers with a one-way ticket costing 350 yen (3.20 dollars).

"The bus was tough to drive because it has its own style," said Takao Odamura, a 54-year-old bus driver wearing a red Polo shirt and a red sun visor, the uniform of drivers trained to drive the Routemaster.

"The steering wheel is heavy and vibration can be felt on rough roads," Odamura said. "But driving the London bus is a lot of fun as people wave their hands to us with a big smile, which had never happened before in my career."

Kenji Nakatsuru, another Routemaster driver, said: "It was so scary as the roof is high so the balance can shift really easily. But I'm used to it. I hope it will top the tourists' list in Shimonoseki."

The bus still has a London number plate. But passengers thinking they are in London should be warned of one major difference -- hopping on while the bus is moving is strictly forbidden in Japan.
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Old August 22nd, 2008, 03:23 PM   #152
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I saw a few in Toronto as well.
Seems like the world does have a interest to get the symbolic bus from London.

And from various sources, sounds like the Routemaster will be part of the Olympic ceremony in Beijing this Sunday as well.
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Old August 22nd, 2008, 04:25 PM   #153
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I've seen a number of Routemasters around the world as well. Perhaps some of them were already out there before London decided to get rid of them. (but then, I still saw the odd Routemaster running on London's streets now and then during my visit in 2007)
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Old August 22nd, 2008, 07:19 PM   #154
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Wikimedia Commons has two photos of the Shimonoseki Routemaster.

Front view

Side view, showing the two emergency exits required by Japanese regulations

Another Routemaster in Japan

A Routemaster used for advertising in Tokyo

More views of the Shimonoseki Routemaster on Flickr
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Old August 22nd, 2008, 10:52 PM   #155
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It's a shame TfL never decided to make an equally outstanding design for the new generations of London buses. Instead we end up with generic double deck buses with one thing that makes them stand out, the fact they are red.
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Old August 24th, 2008, 07:46 AM   #156
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To be fair, I don't think TfL has the capability to embark on automobile design and production. I doubt there is any large city operator in the world that is doing that.
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Old August 24th, 2008, 01:50 PM   #157
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Quote:
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To be fair, I don't think TfL has the capability to embark on automobile design and production. I doubt there is any large city operator in the world that is doing that.

But I'd like to think that as we're talking orders of hundreds or even thousands of buses, TFL can approach manufacturers with pretty precise specifications? They are the customer, after all!
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Old August 24th, 2008, 03:51 PM   #158
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But I'd like to think that as we're talking orders of hundreds or even thousands of buses, TFL can approach manufacturers with pretty precise specifications? They are the customer, after all!
They can make specification demands, but to design a special bus for London from scratch may be a bit unrealistic though. Hong Kong has asked the bus manufacturers to add a third axle because the hundreds and thousands of buses on order are long buses, but other than that the rest of it is off-the-shelf.
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Old August 24th, 2008, 06:00 PM   #159
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Quote:
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They can make specification demands, but to design a special bus for London from scratch may be a bit unrealistic though. Hong Kong has asked the bus manufacturers to add a third axle because the hundreds and thousands of buses on order are long buses, but other than that the rest of it is off-the-shelf.
True, off the shelf is much cheaper for the buyer... But if we're talking big orders, I'd say it's a false economy.
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Old August 24th, 2008, 06:44 PM   #160
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It's just me being nostalgic (even though i'm under 20 years old). Forgive me.
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