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Revamped Double-Decker Bus Goes on View in London

boris johnson and bus
Back in May, we learned that London's iconic, double-decker buses would be getting a green makeover, just in time for the 2012 Summer Olympics. On Thursday, city mayor Boris Johnson finally unveiled a life-size model of the new bus in all its red resplendence.

Unveiled at the London Transport Museum, the new bus is modeled after the original Routemaster, and features an open platform and a maximum capacity of 87 passengers. Unlike its predecessors, however, the revamped Routemaster will feature a hybrid engine that's 40-percent more fuel efficient than diesel-powered models. Beginning in 2012, the city will unleash just five prototypes on the streets of London. After that, private companies will be able to order more, should they so desire.

Johnson, for one, seems confident that Londoners will respond enthusiastically to the prototype, which, according to him, weds timeless tradition with new technology. "Standing on the rear platform of this delectable bus brings back a sense of nostalgia but conversely also demonstrates the quintessence of the latest technology and design, making this bus fit for 21st century London," Johnson told the BBC. "It is wonderful to see how those two-dimensional designs we unveiled in May have been forged into this amazing bus and I for one cannot wait to be launching the buses when they first enter passenger service in 2012."

Tags: ballymena, BorisJohnson, bus, design, double-decker, england, green, hybrid, london, olympics, routemaster, top, transportation