Transport for London has confirmed an order for 600 of Boris Johnson’s New Bus For London buses.
The decision to purchase the buses was made by the Transport for London board and deviates from the existing practice of bus operators buying their own vehicles.
As reported last week, the mandated use of the buses and the inability to deploy them outside London meant even if operators purchased the buses directly, accounting rules meant they would still be considered TfL assets and count towards its borrowing capacity.
The board, Chaired by Mayor Boris Johnson, was therefore asked to approve the purchase of 600 buses from manufacturers Wrightbus which would then be made available to operators.
TfL say the first 30 buses will enter service in April 2013 with the final batch expected by 2016. Each bus is projected to have an operational life of 14 years.
Announcing the order, Mayor Johnson said: ”By ordering large numbers of these fantastic machines we are also creating UK jobs. I promised an expansion of the existing fleet and I am confident they will be as iconic in London as phone boxes, Big Ben and Beefeaters.”
Transport Commissioner, Peter Hendy added: “These new clean, green buses have proved a big hit with passengers who appreciate the smooth ride and spaciousness of the bus. They are a stunning addition to London’s bus fleet and will become an increasingly familiar sight on city streets from early next year.”
Asked to confirm the cost of the contract, a TfL spokesperson said: “This is subject to ongoing discussions with Wrightbus. It is expected that the price will be broadly comparable to an existing hybrid bus and we are confident that we can ensure the most economical unit price.”
The spokesman declined to confirm whether the board had set a maximum limit on the cost of the order.