please empty your brain below

Fascinating. The only buses we get here in Seattle are bendy-buses that fail to inspire. Not only that, but the fares are due to double unless there is an electoral referendem next fall. Most of our buses run on both electric and Diesel engines, so they can go through the downtown transit tunnel.
Nice that a driver also regarded the passenger seats as uncomfortable.
Apart from unconformable seats the space between seats is so small that your knees dig into the back of the seat in front. The small tinted glass windows give the interior of the bus a sense of gloom. The ceiling is low. They are stuffy. There is no rear window upstairs.
Not so good for taking photos from due to tinted and small windows.
Outside from the back they look awful with that ugly space wasting curve.
I feel sorry for dg if he has to use these buses for the next few years.
The Optare Metrodecker seems a much nicer bus.
I have to agree with John the buses are so gloomy in side. I want to like them but I crave the natural light. Some other points I noticed:

In driver-only mode only one leaf of the rear door opens. The curved part of the door remains shut. On the platform between these doors is a vertical handrail which causes an obstruction in driver-only mode for passengers from the upper deck meeting those from the lower deck.

At Victoria bus station where obedient commuters queued (and took pleasure in pointing to travellers with suitcases they couldn't simply board) there is now a free-for-all for three door entry.

Passengers boarding the middle door wishing to climb the forward stairs are forced into a dance with passengers boarding through the front door wanting to sit downstairs.

A three door bus with three door entry. Wasn't this once chastised as a "free bus" that needed banishing from our streets?
Hmm. Interesting last comment. Is there a significant level of fare-dodging on the new buses?
No idea but if there is I can't imagine it will get as much attention from Boris or Boris's fanzine, the Evening Standard, as the suggested fare evasion on bendy buses received. I still feel much of that was inflated and didn't take into account passengers with travelcards who didn't need to touch in.
I was always convinced that it would take until some one replaced Boris until they'd start running as one person operation. Shows what I know. Also shows what a folly these buses always were. Hop on hop off? Yeah right.

There were a lot of lies told about the bendies and the fact that many of the flaws are shared by the New Bus shows it had nothing to do with passengers and everything to do with giving Boris a new shiny thing. I doubt the next mayor will buy any more of these things than they have to.

Perhaps the air cooling was helped by the fact that the platform door was shut though!
Is there a possible timetable for the roll out of the NBFL on other bus routes ?
Grim. That's my description of the new bus. Probably the worst new bus in London since some of the early "pay as you enter" attempts in the mid 1970's. It's the first double decker I haven't enjoyed sitting upstairs at the front. I now make a conscious decision to avoid the wretched things.
I am not surprised by DG's observations about the lower deck. I think the seating layout is appalling. I am amazed that TfL and Wrightbus have not tweaked the layout somewhat although the rear wheel arches are a real problem.

It is worth noting that there are two extra silver liveried NB4Ls delivered to Stagecoach. They have a simpler livery than LT150 which has appeared at various Year of the Bus events.

I agree the issue of fare evasion is very, very unlikely to be publicised unless there is some spectacular instance of it being *lower* than before. I don't expect that to be the case.

As for route 8 then I think there are two acid tests - normal peak time operations and also on the N8 night bus variant. It'll be interesting to see how the vehicles cope with the inevitable crowds. Given the risk of "free bus" syndrome I wonder if the N8 will suddenly see a transfer of people from route (N)25.
Might the N8 operate as two doors only? Although passengers could board by the middle door there might be a subconscious shift to enter via the front and exit by the middle.
"Most local residents don't follow the media like you or I" ...maybe they have better things to do. or perhaps "they" don't like the way people who "don't follow the media" are talked about by the media.
Notice also how the reflections make it difficult to read the grey route number - which would be much easier to do if it were in dayglo yellow like the number plate of cycle warning sticker.
Absolutely the worst designed bus I've ever had the misfortune to have to use.

What a staggering waste of public money.
I recently put a photo on Flickr of one of the black buses on the other service they're running on, Route 38.
Here's a bit of additional info that someone noted in a comment:
That black bus frankly looks evil.
That's what I thought. Because it was a 'special' bus on Route 38 I didn't need much excuse to title the photo 38 Special

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