The AEC Routemaster was first presented to the public in 1954. Compared to previous bus types, the Routemaster, with its integral design of chassis and body, was considered downright innovative. In particular, the open boarding platform at the rear left, which allowed quick boarding and alighting (hop on and off), characterized the double-decker, which went into series production from 1958. At the end of the 1950s, changed regulations also allowed buses over nine meters long to be operated on just two axles. Some Routemasters were then split in the middle and an additional area was added in the middle, which was recognizable through square windows. The new bus type, the long Routemaster, or RML for short, now offered space for a total of 72 passengers. The brilliant success with 15 test vehicles convinced London Transport, to order another 500 examples of the RML, which were produced from 1965 to 1968. In the 1970s, more and more RMLs were in service in central London. With the constant presence of the double-deckers in the typical red on almost all routes, the image of the Routemaster as a typical symbol of London was visibly strengthened. It was not until 2005, after almost 50 years of continuous service, that this flagship of London ceased general operation.
ROUTEMASTER is a registered trademark of Transport for London.