The Double-decker gets a makeover

There’s a lot of to love about the London bus of the days of yore – the charming, iconic red double-decker has provided commuters and tourists alike with an upper deck view of the city since 1956. Design, however, has never been one of its stronger points. The Routemaster, as it’s officially called, really does look as if someone had simply taken the wheels off of one bus and placed it atop another.

But the days of yore are no more with the Routemaster 2.0, an updated model designed by Thomas Heatherwick (who’s also behind some of the stadium designs for the 2012 Olympics) and Wrightbus. The new bus is still two stories and bright red, but the redesign takes a lot else into consideration, including passenger comfort and fuel efficiency. That’s right, the double-decker is a super sleek, light and airy hybrid bus that produces 40% less carbon dioxide and is 40% more fuel efficient. With three points off entry including a new hop on/hop off option and two staircases enclosed by windows, not walls, the bus is more user friendly and more enjoyable to ride. The new models are currently in production and will be released in time for the 2012 Olympics.