Metroline Logo.svg
LK62DVR Metroline VW1403 Volvo B9TL with Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 bodywork (52445287352).jpg
A Metroline Wright Eclipse Gemini 2-bodied Volvo B9TL on route 81 in 2022
Founded1 April 1989; 33 years ago (1989-04-01)
HeadquartersCricklewood, London, England
Service area
Service typeBus services
Routes101 (August 2017)
Depots12, with 2 non depot sites
Fleet1,532 (March 2021)
Fuel typeDiesel, hybrid, electric and hydrogen[1]
Managing DirectorStephen Harris Edit this at Wikidata

Metroline is a bus company operating services in Greater London and south Hertfordshire. It is a subsidiary of ComfortDelGro Corporation and operates services under contract to Transport for London. As at March 2021, the fleet consisted of 1,532 buses, making it the third largest London Buses operator.[2] Operations are split between two registered companies, Metroline Travel Limited and Metroline West Limited.

Company history

AEC Routemaster on route 98 on Oxford Street in April 2003
AEC Routemaster on route 98 on Oxford Street in April 2003

On 1 April 1989, London Buses was divided into 11 separate business units, one of which was Metroline.[3] As part of the privatisation of London bus services, Metroline was sold in October 1994 to a management buyout worth £20 million.[4] In July 1998, it purchased MTL London and in March 2000 was sold to ComfortDelGro.[5] In August 2004 ComfortDelGro purchased Thorpes[6] and in November 2004 Armchair Passenger Transport[7] with seven routes and 86 buses. The coach business of Armchair was absorbed into ComfortDelGro-owned Westbus UK in 2006.[5] Thorpes and Armchair initially retained their existing names before being rebranded to Metroline in January 2007.[5]

When privatised, Metroline adopted a livery of red with a dark blue skirt. This was briefly changed to light blue in the mid 2000s before the dark blue was reinstated. In June 2009, Metroline adopted an all red scheme to comply with Transport for London requirements. In 2014, a blue, white and red livery was introduced on buses dedicated to non-Transport for London services.[8]

On 22 June 2013, Metroline purchased First London's Alperton, Greenford, Hayes, Uxbridge and Willesden Junction depots with 494 buses.[9]

On 10 September 2021, Alperton depot closed to make way for redevelopment, with a Farewell Open Day being held the following day.[10]

A major fire broke out at Potters Bar garage on 22 May 2022, destroying six buses but resulting in no injuries. Drivers were able to move the majority of the garage's buses away from the fire.[11][12] Two of the buses destroyed were Optare MetroDecker EVs, also in service with Go-Ahead London and Tower Transit, causing a nationwide recall of the type.[13]

See also


  1. ^ "Mayor launches England's first hydrogen double decker buses". Metroline. 17 September 2021. Archived from the original on 19 September 2021. Retrieved 20 September 2021.
  2. ^ Transport for London (31 March 2021). "Bus Fleet Audit" (PDF). Retrieved 21 September 2021.
  3. ^ Companies House extract company no 2328608 Metroline London Northern
  4. ^ "Metroline sold to MEBO for £20m". Bus & Coach Buyer. No. 277. Spalding: Glen-Holland Limited. 14 October 1994. p. 5.
  5. ^ a b c "History". Metroline. Archived from the original on 14 December 2022. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  6. ^ Companies House extract company no 2544617 FE Thorpe & Sons
  7. ^ Companies House extract company no 675672 Armchair Passenger Transport Company Limited
  8. ^ "Metroline brings back blue beyond Tfl-land" Buses Magazine issue 713 August 2014 page 21
  9. ^ "First confirms London sell-off". Coach & Bus Week. Peterborough: Emap. 16 April 2013. Retrieved 13 December 2022.
  10. ^ "Farewell Alperton Garage". Metroline. 17 September 2021. Archived from the original on 30 November 2022. Retrieved 21 September 2021.
  11. ^ "Potters Bar: Buses catch fire at town centre transport depot". BBC News. 22 May 2022. Retrieved 23 May 2022.
  12. ^ "Potters Bar fire: Police investigating bus depot blaze". BBC News. 23 May 2022. Retrieved 23 May 2022.
  13. ^ Peat, Chris (23 May 2022). "Electric Metrodeckers grounded following fire". Bus & Coach Buyer. Peterborough. Retrieved 23 May 2022.