Tuesday, May 22, 2007

"Hop On, Hop Off" Open Top Sightseeing Comes To America ... and Washington DC

I first noticed the red double decker tour buses when photographing at Dupont Circle North on Sunday afternoon, 29 April 2007 that within a half-hour period two different red double decker buses veered north, from the circle traffic, and headed north on Connecticut Avenue.

At the time I was in the process of capturing the Madison Livelystones positioned on the overpass at Dupont Circle North. However, having to use my old 35 mm Canon Rebel G since both my digital cameras had been left at Ritz for repair - it may be some time if the negatives are processed. For now, with the exception of those taken at Artomatic on 24 April images that I took with 35 mm film from 27 April until 22 May which is when I picked up my first digital camera from Ritz, after it had been repaired, will be included in my Photographs NOT Taken (May 2007) Project.

While, in recent years, I have observed and often photographed the red and sometimes orange Gray Line tour buses passing through the streets of Washington DC it was Sunday, 29 April, that I first observated the red, white and blue open top double decker tour buses.

The brainchild of Abdallah EL-AZM who after living in Paris for more than 20 years, as a transplant Great Britain he began to envision ways that the double decker tour buses that had been so common in Great Britian may could be exported to Paris.

Accepted by the Union of Parisian Transportations, LES CARS ROUGES started to run in Paris on July 27th 1991.

Though I'm not sure when they first arrived, as my first observation was on 29 April, having invested more than $12 million in his company, founder and CEO Abdallah EL-AZM of Les Cars Rouge, recently brought his vision to America with the launching of the Open Top Sightseeing Washington DC Tours. Other cities will follow.

This is how it works. Here are the fares. And here are the Hop On - Hop Off locations. Buses run from 9am until 7pm from 25 stops. Tickets are valid for two days from the time you board (if you board after 3pm your ticket is extended to 3 days), and you are welcome to HOP ON and OFF as much as you please.

Click photo to view my ongoing Open Top Sightseeing Washington DC and Traffic at Dupont Circle photo sets.