So today was the first day of the new RV1 Riverside bus service - surprisingly all the buses I saw today were quite busy (5-12 people on each bus), which suggests that the service is likely to catch on quickly.
I think it's great, and will be a very convenient new link.
I took the bus from Southwark Street to Covent Garden and back this afternoon. The buses are comfortable, though the new information screens aren't working yet and the leaflet racks were empty.
The ride along Upper Ground and Belvedere Road was frustratingly slow and bumpy because of all the road humps and speed tables, but the bus made steady progress.
If you're going to Covent Garden, the bus drops you just opposite the Theatre Museum, just a stone's throw from the Opera House and the piazza.
Supposedly all the drivers have been given tours of attractions en-route, so they should be able to answer basic questions from tourists. But I was rather alarmed when I got on the bus at Covent Garden and someone asked whether the bus went anywhere near the Millennium Bridge and the driver said "no"... I had to intervene and point out that the bus stops right outside Tate Modern and the Millennium Bridge is about 2 minutes away.
More worryingly, the wing mirror had been pranged and there was an engineer from the bus company at the Covent Garden terminus (or "Covent Gardens" (sic) as it says on the bus stop) who was taking the mirror off each bus that arrived and putting it on the bus in front as a sort of relay...
Anyway, I'm sure that the RV1 will soon be an essential part of the transport network in SE1.