Only a week after "debendyficiation" of the streets of the capital started on route 507, and as passengers of said route are already asking for the bendies back, the Bus Service Review (pdf), by accountancy firm KPMG for Transport for London (TfL), has been released and it's not pretty. The review was commissioned by Boris in November 2008 and, as you may expect from something produced by accountants, focuses mostly on the financial side.
The economic crisis is hitting TfL like the rest of us, but financial pressures on the organisation are made even more serious by the £16bn Crossrail project and the Tube modernisation. Still, the budget for buses is projected to rise from £653m last year to £766m by 2017, excluding possible changes in the level of funding from central Government and, perhaps most significantly, the creation of the new Routemaster, which will apparently go into service from 2012.
The report identifies "the price of fares and the scale of the network, both its size and frequency of services" as the most convenient levers of spending control. According to analysts at Deutsche Bank, fares could go up by 11% solely to cover the cost of the new buses (and the 3000 new staff they will require). The controversy around the cost of the New Bus for London is of course not new but this new report will do nothing to calm the debate.