The city of London has decided to phase out the red double-decker buses that are so picturesque but so expensive to operate. As the old Routemasters retire, they will be replaced by extra-long bendy buses that have an accordion-style hinge in the center. The Routemasters have a conductor who wanders the coach taking tickets, but the new buses will have only a driver. Passengers will have to purchase tickets ahead of time from machines. Many Londoners decried the change as the sacrifice of a national symbol on the altar of cost-cutting. If it is to snake its way into our affection, The Times said in an editorial, the new bus, at the very least, must be painted red.