There’s been quite a bit of controversy about Transport for London’s New Bus For London (or as the press and public have inevitably christened it, the “BorisBus”). People say that it’s an expensive vanity project for Boris Johnson that puts nostalgia above practicality and which wastes money that could better be spent on existing off-the-shelf buses.
My own party, the Greens, have been particularly critical of it. But personally, and practicality be damned, I like the idea of designing a bus for London, and I’ve long liked the sound of this bus. And then, a little while ago in London, I finally got to see one in the wild.
It came round the corner and headed away from me. I’d just finished taking pictures when two blokes ran past me, sprinting for it. The first jumped on but then, as the second bloke neared, the bus started to pick up speed. I didn’t think he was going to make it, but he really dug in, pushed hard and then – just as it was about to really pull away from him – put in a final burst of speed and with a big leap made it on board.
It might be 2013, but there’s still something right about an open-platform bus in London.