Front-boarding only for BBs
Passengers using London's New Routemaster buses will only be able to board
them using the front door in future, transport bosses have said.
The vehicles were originally designed to allow people to enter through
doors in the rear, middle or at the front.
But a Transport for London (TfL) pilot on one route showed fare evasion
rates were twice as high on New Routemasters compared to other buses.
The change will be introduced on the first buses on 25 January.
A test carried out by TfL last year where passengers could only board New
Routemasters on route 8 using the front door led to evasion rates being
more than halved.
As a result, the transport body estimates more than £3.6m is lost each year
through people not paying fares on New Routemasters, compared to other
front-boarding only buses.
The pilot was also found not to affect how long it took for people to board
the vehicles, as well as helping people with accessibility needs who were
still able to use the middle doors while not having to compete with other
passengers as previously occurred.
Director of bus operations Claire Mann described fare dodging as "criminal
"Our successful pilot on the route 8 has shown that boarding using the
front door only doesn't delay the service and reduces fare evasion, so we
will change all other New Routemasters to follow suit," she said.