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The bus network plays a vital role in the Capital's transport system

The bus network plays a vital role in the Capital's transport system, providing access to jobs and town centres, the Underground and rail services. People's experience of travelling by bus must be transformed: the chronic problems of unreliability and slow journeys will be tackled. Buses must be reliable, quick, convenient, accessible, comfortable, clean, easy and safe to use, and affordable.

  • Buses carry 5.4 million passengers a day up 19 per cent since 1999/2000.
  • London buses are carrying the highest number of passengers since 1969 with the fastest rate of passenger growth since 1945.
  • In 2002/03 alone passengers grew 7.3 per cent - an extra 104 million passenger trips.
  • There has been 20 per cent growth in night bus passengers for 2003/04 and a 12 per cent growth in Sunday passengers year on year.
  • The bus system comprises 6,500 buses operating on over 700 different routes each weekday.

What has been achieved to date?


  • A freeze in bus fares, with a 2% fall in fares over the last 10 years in real terms.
  • Fares on night buses have been reduced to the same level as day fares.


  • A significant increase in bus services with London buses operating their highest mileage since 1963 - 397 million kilometres in 2002/03.
  • Cashless bus routes (purchase ticket before boarding) have been introduced in central London, along with new bendybuses operating along other key routes.
  • New night time services have been introduced to meet increasing demand for night time travel - 97 night bus routes are now in operation, with further expansion of the night time network planned.
  • 21.4m will be provided to the boroughs by TfL to improve bus journeys in 2004/05.

Traffic control

  • London now has 983 bus lanes covering 250kms, providing improved bus priority, supported by parking, waiting and loading restrictions.
  • 27 bus routes have been subject to 'whole route improvement' to improve journey quality for passengers as part of the London Bus Initiative, with 43 more routes planned for the future.
  • The introduction of Selective Vehicle Detection (SVD) gives buses increased priority at around 930 junctions with a further 200 SVD junctions being installed each year.
  • London boroughs have signed up to new Enforcement Service Level Agreements for bus lanes.
  • All bus stops on Red Routes match the hours of restriction to the hours of operation of the bus service.
  • Over 1000 bus mounted CCTV cameras, 50 roadside video cameras, and 225 CCTV cameras are operational to enforce bus lanes.


  • More than 80% of buses are now low floor buses. All of the fleet will be low floor by March 2005 (except for 'route master' buses in central London).
  • Work continues to ensure low floor buses can serve bus stops effectively.


  • BTEC qualifications have been developed for drivers and service controllers. From September 2002 all newly employed drivers are expected to gain the BTEC qualification within a year of starting.
  • Staff are benefiting from a new Transport for London bonus scheme, above inflation wage increases (for operational staff), new training facilities and a greater provision of facilities for drivers at terminals.
  • New vehicle attack alarms have been fitted and enhanced in-service cleaning introduced on some routes as part of the BusPlus initiative.
  • Safety and security on buses is being improved with CCTV cameras installed on all buses by March 2005.
  • Staff are given a TfL bonus of 4 per shift when appropriate.


  • Improved bus information with 2,300 day and 2,500 night bus service spider maps introduced at 270 interchanges during 2002.
  • Improved reliability of the bus stop countdown signs is being achieved with over 1,500 new signs installed to date and potential improvements in technology now being considered.


  • A new London Coach Forum has been established and reviews of coach parking facilities and terminals are underway.

Contract management

  • A new improved bus contracting regime was introduced in 2001, with Quality Incentive Contracts introduced to encourage improved performance and reliability. This covers 248 routes and 49% of total scheduled KM.

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