Transport for London (TfL) has reached a significant milestone in its mission towards sustainable urban transportation by expanding its electric bus fleet to over 1,100 vehicles. The latest enhancement includes the integration of more than 80 electric buses into the bustling borough of Sutton, located in the southern part of the British capital.
TfL's commitment to reducing carbon emissions is reflected in the strategic deployment of electric buses across key routes, namely 80, 93, 154, 164, and 213. This expansion has led to a remarkable transformation, with Sutton now boasting a fleet of 100 electric buses, facilitating over 50% of the borough's bus journeys through eco-friendly means. Commuters and residents can anticipate further improvements, as additional electric buses are slated to be introduced in the spring of 2024.
An impactful outcome of this endeavor is the amplified frequency of the Superloop route SL7 (previously known as the X26), a vital component of the Mayor's £6 million investment initiative aimed at enhancing bus networks in suburban areas of London. The Superloop route forms part of a visionary network of express bus routes, designed to encircle the entirety of the capital, effectively connecting transportation nodes, town centers, and healthcare facilities.
TfL's Director of Buses, Louise Cheeseman, expressed her enthusiasm, stating, “We are thrilled to introduce more than 80 new zero-emission buses to our Sutton fleet. Buses remain the most expedient, straightforward, and economical means of transitioning from private car usage to public transportation.”
The current fleet of electric buses encompasses various types, including Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs). These buses collectively serve 54 fully electric routes, complemented by an additional 15 routes featuring a mix of low-emission and zero-emission buses. This transformative journey began in 2016 with the conversion of the initial five bus lines, featuring a modest fleet of 30 electric buses.
Looking forward, TfL has set an ambitious target of fully transitioning to electric buses by 2034. As of 2021, the public transport provider has adhered to a policy of exclusively procuring electric buses, underlining its steadfast commitment to sustainable urban mobility.
In the pursuit of cleaner air and a greener urban landscape, Transport for London's strides towards electrification herald a promising future for London's transportation infrastructure. With a rapidly growing electric bus fleet and well-defined sustainability goals, the British capital is setting an inspiring precedent for metropolises worldwide.