Transport For London (TfL) manage one of the largest bus networks in the world, with more than 9,300 vehicles in the fleet. TfL subsidiary company, London Bus Services Ltd, plans routes, specifies service levels and monitors service quality. It is also responsible for around 50 bus stations and more than 19,000 bus stops.
Most bus services in London are run by private operators which have been awarded a contract by TfL. Their contract is then managed by London Bus Services Ltd.
All applicants have to tender for any service they would like to run.
Read more about the bus service tender process at the official website from TfL.
A small number of bus services in London are run commercially and are not part of our competitive tender process. Operators interested in running this type of service need to apply for a London Service Permit.
Technology for passengers
TfL operate a system called iBus on all London Buses.
Using a combination of technologies including satellite tracking, iBus can pinpoint the location of buses, relaying information between the driver, garage and central control point.
Live bus arrival information for all bus stops is available online, on smartphones and via SMS. It is also available via signs at more than 2,600 bus stops.
TfL interactive maps allow people to search by postcode, street name, route number, stop name or place of interest.