|Tower Transit WSH62297 stands at Covent Garden on route RV1.|
This is a huge problem because the RV1 doesn't really have many regular commuters, most of the passengers simply board the service spontaneously due to the various tourist attractions it serves. It also provides a handy link between Tower Hill and Waterloo, although most of the route is followed by other services which are more frequent. I'd imagine a large amount of revenue is earned through the destination display of 'Covent Garden', a thriving tourist area which has no bus service due to the awkward and unconventional street layout there. The RV1 makes an attempt at serving Covent Garden, although the terminus is only 60 seconds away from Aldwych, which is served by two dozen other bus services, resulting in a large number of disappointed tourists who find themselves dumped outside the tube station rather than at their wanted destination. To investigate passenger numbers I decided to sample the service in the height of the evening rush hour and I'm pleased to say that the bus was surprisingly busy, being fully seated at various points throughout the journey. However, buses heading the other way seemed to be carrying fresh air, so perhaps the high loadings on my trip were anomalous rather than what's expected.
My theory of the route having no commuters was proved to be correct, with almost 90% of seats being taken up by groups of families travelling together. A large number boarded at Tower Hill, although the intermediate stops proved unpopular and it seemed that almost everyone stayed on until the end at Covent Garden, apart from a small number of travellers bound for Waterloo or London Bridge. To some extent, TFL's strategy of advertising the service as serving Covent Garden is still effective and is probably the only reason why the RV1 still exists in its current form. The future is uncertain, but perhaps when all the roadworks are finally complete and the service returns to a bearable state, the RV1 can flourish and become the important Riverside route it used to be.
|Go-Ahead London SE26 stands at Dagenham East.|
|Arriva London HV247 pauses along Bishopsgate, with the Gherkin sneaking into the photo in the background.|
|Metroline Travel VW1048 is seen at Hessel Road working route E2.|
|Arriva London HV111 starts a journey at Lordship Lane en route to Tottenham Court Road.|
|Go-Ahead London SE174 is seen in the Beddington Lane industrial area.|
|Go-Ahead London EH13 stops at Waterloo en route to Canada Water.|
|A panoramic shot of Grove Park Bus Station.|
|Go-Ahead London WVL94 stops at Vauxhall Bus Station.|
|A Wrightbus Gemini 2 DB300 vehicle pauses at Mill Hill East en route to Edgware.|
Thanks for reading and stay safe!