Extensive research was conducted to create the concept behind the 1761 Routemaster, including a survey of passengers on what they thought makes for a smooth ride on public transport.
The designers, Foster and Partners in collaboration with Aston Martin, also canvassed the opinions of drivers and conductors to work on the new bus from the inside out.
The joint submission won first prize, alongside Capoco Design, in a London transport competition to design a new bus for London.
According to the designers, the award-winning bus design is “environmentally sensitive, accessible and convivial” and manages to retain a much-loved symbol of London for the modern era.
Expected to set new standards for sustainable public service vehicles, the new bus is zero emissions ready, reducing the impact on the environment of the city, while a glazed roof incorporates solar cells to absorb sunlight and generate energy. By filtering daylight the internal temperature is controlled.
Designed to navigate the dense streets of London, the bus employs innovative technologies to allow for greater manoeuvrability and energy conservation while optimising safety. The driver’s cabin has panoramic views and incorporates screens to supervise CCTV images and radio communications with the conductor.
With passenger comfort in mind, the layout, lighting and wooden floors all encourage a sense of community with a ‘living room’ feel. The bus design re-introduces the rear open access platform and is supplemented by a side door to facilitate access for those with impaired mobility as well as families with young children.
Along with the impressive sustainable aspects – zero emissions while powered by a hydrogen fuel cell – the new design is thirty percent lighter than traditional buses and virtually silent in operation.
Lord Foster, CEO of Foster and Partners, said London buses were part of the essence of the city and the project had captured his imagination.
“Like the original Routemaster – which was already ahead of its time and consequently endured – a new bus
for London should establish a whole new travel experience that espouses twenty-first century aspirations, while celebrating the memory and the experience of the original.”