Transport for London has been working on a new, more efficient, double-decker bus for London to replace the classic Routemaster. Today, London Mayor Boris Johnson and Transport for London officially unveiled the new bus co-designed by The Wright Group and Thomas Heatherwick. The new design uses the latest in green hybrid technology and will be 15% more fuel efficient than existing hybrid buses, 40% more efficient than conventional diesel double decks, and much quieter on the streets.

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We’re slightly confused, because we thought the design was chosen back in 2008, but apparently, this is really the new bus, which is set to be in service by 2012. Emissions will be reduced by 40 per cent for NOx* emissions and 33 percent for PM** emissions when compared with conventional diesel buses. Lightweight materials help make the bus more efficient, extensive use of glass brings in more natural light, and a sleek exterior bring the classic double-decker design into the 21st century.

The Wright Group, who is the leading independent supplier of accessible buses for public transportation systems, has been working with Thomas Heatherwick to stylize the design, which is most notably characterized by the use of glass, the sleek lines and the sweeping asymmetrical front. Each hybrid bus has two sets of staircases to access the top floor as well as an open rear platform that can open and close, all in order to facilitate quicker boarding. The first prototype is expected to be delivered later next year (2011) and be in service by 2012.

+ Transport for London

+ The Wright Group

+ Heatherwick Studio

Via Dezeen