End of an era
I confess I do not know the history and reasons behind the decision to halt the use of London's red, doubledecker Routemaster buses. I do know I find the decision rather sad. One of the greatest joys and moments of my life was riding on a doubledecker bus through London's streets. It might not seem like a great achievement, but it was something I had looked forward to for years. And when I did it, I found the ride made me even happier than I had imagined. To see the sights of London from the top deck of the buses was a glorious experience. From The Washington Post:
Fans of London's double-decker Routemaster buses were out early on a foggy morning Friday hoping to catch a ride on the last day of regular service after half a century. The red Routemasters, with their conductors and hop-on, hop-off open platforms, were scheduled to make their last regular trip at midday. "It's a sad day. The buses have all been overhauled and they were OK for several more years," said Rustom Battiwalla, 37, a former bus driver who came to London on Friday from the western city of Bristol London transport authorities say the venerable vehicle cannot accommodate disabled people and must be replaced by more user-friendly buses _ either boxy modern double-deckers or articulated, Mercedes-Benz "bendy buses." After Friday, Routemasters, once the workhorse of London's public-transport system, will remain only on two central London "heritage routes" aimed at tourists. "We are losing so much of our tradition. You would think we would want to carry on with the Routemasters," said Fred Martin, 59, who came from the eastern city of Norwich hoping for a last ride.