A £170m taxpayer bill for the new eco-bus is great news for those who live in London according to the office of Boris Johnson even though the bill may seem a bit high at first glance. Jennette Arnold, a Hackney London Assembly Member, told Boris Johnson to put his priorities in order after it was announced just how much the new buses are going to cost London taxpayers. Operators were supposed to pay the bill for the eco-friendly buses, but the Transport of London instead decided to buy the buses making them the responsibility of London.
Each of the buses have hybrid engines that utilize half as much fuel as a normal double Decker bus would use, but in order to do this the costs of the buses goes up. In fact, they have been called the ‘world’s most expensive buses.’
The first launch of the buses started this past February on the route 38 route through Hackney. Arnold stated that the Mayor needs to put his ducks in a line and stop wasting money on these vanity projects like the buses when the funds could be better put to use on keeping police on the streets or reopening a fire station.
The London Fire Authority is going to see its budget cut by about £35m this year causing some questions about where the city’s money should be spent. Arnold has been an opponent of the busing system for the past few years starting in 2009 when the Mayor first announced that the development and design cost of the project would cost £3.3m. On the flip side, a Mayoral spokeswoman stated that the buses will be good for London commuters creating a clean green bus fleet while helping to support UK engineering and job creation.