Red and Green All Over: London’s Futuristic New Bus Design

The iconic London double-decker bus is getting a 21st century, eco-friendly makeover. The futuristic design from Thomas Heatherwick beat out some 700 entries in the A New Bus for London competition. The design itself isn’t a far cry from the old familiar Routemaster buses; the real significant differences lie in the “green” updates.

The new buses will be 40 percent more fuel efficient than current diesel buses, and a full 15 percent more fuel efficient than existing hybrid ones. Emissions will be far below those of current diesel models, and lightweight materials will further increase the eco-friendly nature of the buses.

It will also be easier to get on and off of the newly-designed vehicles; with open platforms, three doors per bus and two staircases, embarking, finding a seat and disembarking will all be seamless…or as seamless as riding a bus in London can ever be.

Above all of these practical design elements, the new bus actually looks very cool. The swooshing glass feature provides a bit of sunlight in the interior of the bus and highlights the staircase. The rounded corners and asymmetrical features give the buses a modern-but-retro feel that hopefully won’t begin to look dated for quite some time. The first of the redesigned buses should go into service sometime in 2012.

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See more in Mass Transit or under Transportation. May, 2010.