Saturday, December 27, 2008

My Favourite Bus

This is the famous Routemaster double decker bus (1959-2005). These are the first buses I rode, and they remain my favourite buses.
I was on holiday in London in 1976 when I rode them. The buses were very cozy. Smoking was allowed on the upper deck so I'd only ride up there if there were no smokers. The conductors had an amazing memory for who had just got on the bus. Never was I asked twice for the fare, and never was my fare not collected.

This was the newer DMS (DaiMler Standee) one person operated (opo) bus then used on some routes. The DMS design had the engine at the back. Passengers boarded at the front and paid the driver. It was comfortable, but slow and dull. I avoided them if I could.

I preferred the older open platform Routemaster buses because:
1) I could run for the bus as it pulled away or jump off when it slowed in traffic. I never did those things. It probably wasn't allowed. But I could have.
2) I could hear the City through the open platform.
3) I could get myself seated and put my bags down before paying.
4) There was a conductor to keep everything running smoothly and dispense information. I felt as if every bus had a guide.
5) The stop for passengers was shorter than with the newer opo buses.


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