The new bus is stylish, but is it efficient?

The ’Boris Bus’ is a very stylish piece of work and it is a brilliant idea to have windows by the front stairs (www.designweek.co.uk, 17 May). The window at the back is likely to be expensive.

Have tests been carried out to assess boarding time, though? We once carried a two-year study at Ogle for London Transport to reduce boarding time (pictured). It was then four seconds per person on average. At that time, three million passengers were carried every day. With a lot more passengers today, reducing the time by even one second would yield significant savings. Dispensing with a conductor is also important.

Private operators are unlikely to enthuse if they have to invest in an expensive vehicle, pay for a conductor and not have reduced boarding time. If there is extra expense, will they try to recover this with increased fares? A question for Mr Johnson.

Tom Karen, Designer, by e-mail

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