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East London Transit
East London Transit liveried New Routemaster on route EL1 in July 2022
ParentTransport for London
Founded20 February 2010
LocaleEast London
Service areaBarking & Dagenham, Redbridge
Service typeBus rapid transit
DestinationsIlford, Barking, Goodmayes, Thames View, Becontree Heath, Barking Riverside
HubsBarking Riverside
FleetNew Routemaster
Fuel typeHybrid electric
OperatorBlue Triangle

East London Transit (ELT) is a part-segregated[1] bus rapid transit, operated as part of the London Buses network. The East London Transit opened in phases between 2010 and 2013. The scheme for this system was developed by Transport for London to meet the existing and anticipated demand for public transport in East London caused by the Thames Gateway redevelopment, and has been planned to allow for a possible future upgrade to tram operation.[2]

It connects National Rail, London Underground, Elizabeth line and London Overground stations in the London boroughs of Havering, Redbridge, and Barking and Dagenham with major population centers, such as Barking Riverside, that are currently only served by bus routes. The first stage of the scheme opened on 20 February 2010. There are proposals for a variety of extensions.


The East London Transit (ELT) was developed by Transport for London as an integrated public transport system in conjunction with the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and the London Borough of Redbridge and other stakeholders.[3][4]

There are three routes in the East London Transit system. EL1 replaced the previous route 369 bus service and operated 24 hours a day, initially between Thames View Estate and Ilford, and has since been extended from Thames View Estate to Barking Riverside. EL2 operated over the whole length of the phase 1 route between Dagenham Dock and Ilford until March 2016, when it was amended to run to Becontree Heath after leaving Barking. EL3 replaced the previous route 387 operated between Little Heath and Barking Riverside, the route change through Barking Town Centre.[clarification needed] As a result of these changes, route 179 was withdrawn between Ilford and Barking and was diverted to terminate at Ilford (Hainault Street) bus terminus.[5][6]

Each route operates five buses an hour on Monday to Saturday daytimes and three buses an hour during the evenings and on Sunday; this gives a combined frequency of ten buses an hour over the core route from Barking to Thames View Estate during the day.[7][8]

Delivered phases

Phase 1

Phase 1 commenced on 20 February 2010.[9]

Phase 2

Construction of phase 2 began in 2011 and was completed in 2013. It received funding from the Homes and Communities Agency.[10]

Extension to Barking Reach

In 2013 it was proposed to extend route EL1 from Thames View Estate to Barking Reach and a consultation was held.[11] The extended service started on 7 September 2013.[12]

Extension to Barking Riverside, Northgate Road

A route EL1 bus on the new Northgate Road extension passing the newly opened Barking Riverside pier in summer 2022.
A route EL1 bus on the new Northgate Road extension passing the newly opened Barking Riverside pier.

In 2020, the route EL1 was extended from the Barking Reach terminus to further serve the new housing developments that had been built in the area. The route was extended to terminate at the newly built Northgate Road on the far east side of the development and was routed to pass the new Barking Riverside station and Barking Riverside pier that opened in 2022. Route EL3 also has two schoolday journeys that are extended beyond Mallards Road to Northgate Road, however the route still terminates at Mallards Road at all other times.


Map of ELT routes
Map of ELT routes

Route EL1 operates via these primary locations:[13]

Route EL2 operates via these primary locations:[14]

Route EL3 operates via these primary locations:[15]


Two EL3 buses at the Mallard Road terminus in Barking Riverside
Two EL3 buses at the Mallards Road terminus in Barking Riverside

All services are operated by Blue Triangle using New Routemaster double-deckers. In February 2017, Blue Triangle commenced a new contract on routes EL1 and EL2 along with new route EL3 (which replaced the similarly routed 387). These routes gradually introduced New Routemasters.[16]

Future developments

Proposed destinations

Early proposals for extensions have included Gants Hill for the Central line, Rainham, Barkingside, Romford, Elm Park and Collier Row and Harold Wood.[2] Havering London Borough Council has voiced support for the extension to Rainham through London Riverside.

In a bus network development paper from 2016, a new route EL4 was proposed between Barking Riverside and Becontree Heath bus station via Becontree Underground station. In a council meeting in July 2023, Barking & Dagenham council had talked with TfL about extending the proposed route to Romford.[17]

Additional proposals include services to Gallions Reach for the Docklands Light Railway, East Ham, Silvertown and Stratford.[18]

Thames Gateway Transit

The East London Transit formed part of a plan for a much larger Thames Gateway Transit service, which would use the Thames Gateway Bridge to connect to the Greenwich Waterfront Transit on the south side of the River Thames. However, construction of the bridge and the Greenwich busway was cancelled in 2008.


  1. ^ "Barking Riverside Extension Transport options summary report". Transport for London. Archived from the original on 5 April 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Mapping The Changes" (PDF). The Londoner. March 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 July 2009. Retrieved 4 February 2010.
  3. ^ "East London Transit | Transport for London". Transport for London. 12 January 2008. Archived from the original on 12 January 2008. Retrieved 28 December 2020.
  4. ^ "Goodbye and thank you".
  5. ^ Bus service proposal: routes EL1 and 387 Archived 21 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine Transport for London
  6. ^ Barking and Dagenham Archived 20 August 2016 at the Wayback Machine Transport for London
  7. ^ "Service changes – 18 January to 1 March 2010" (PDF). Transport for London. Archived (PDF) from the original on 5 August 2010. Retrieved 10 February 2010.
  8. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 October 2012. Retrieved 10 May 2014.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "All aboard East London Transit as new bus service launches". Transport of London. 22 February 2010. Archived from the original on 16 April 2012.
  10. ^ "East London Transit". Transport for London. Archived from the original on 24 September 2008. Retrieved 4 February 2010.
  11. ^ "Have Your Say Transport for London" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 21 March 2014. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
  12. ^ "Bus service proposal: Routes EL1 and 387 - Transport for London - Citizen Space". Archived from the original on 21 March 2014. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
  13. ^ "Route EL1 Map". Transport for London.
  14. ^ "Route EL2 Map". Transport for London.
  15. ^ "Route EL3 Map". Transport for London.
  16. ^ "Blue Triangle and Arriva London North win new London tenders" Coach & Bus Week issue 1251 2 August 2016 page 7
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Bus services in Barking Riverside.pdf" (PDF). Transport for London. November 2016. Archived (PDF) from the original on 10 December 2017. Retrieved 7 May 2017.