||This article needs additional citations for verification. (May 2009)|
|Vehicle||Alexander Dennis Enviro200 Dart 8.9m|
|Peak vehicle requirement||9|
|Night-time||No night service|
|Length||9 miles (15km)|
|Frequency||Every 15 minutes (20 evenings and Sunday)|
|Journey time||34 - 59 minutes|
|Operates||5:25 am - 0:39 am|
|London Transport portal|
Route K1 is part of the K-prefix network of services run around Kingston upon Thames, introduced in 1987.
The route remained in much the same format from its introduction until a route change in 1993 saw some switching of routes between Surbiton and Kingston. Route K1 swapped with the route of service 71 between Surbiton and Kingston. At the same time, two other K-prefix routes swapped, with route K4 (a later introduction the K-prefix routes in 1990) switching with route K3. Since then, the route has remained in its current format.
The route at introduction used MCW Metroriders the first of the type to be seen on the streets of Kingston. Within five years, Dennis Darts were running on the service. The types of theses varied, with no particular allocation, with both Plaxton Pointer and Duple/Carlyle bodied examples running. Low floor vehicles were introduced following the new contract in 2001, with a batch of Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer 2s introduced to the service.
Since its introduction, route K1 has been operated solely by London United (through its Westlink subsidiary) and its successor. The contract came up for renewal in October 2007, which was again won by Transdev London. The contract specified new buses, and a batch of new Alexander Dennis Enviro200 Darts were introduced in August 2008.
Abellio London have gained the contract for route K1 from 29 June 2013. 
The use of the 'K1' number was not the first in Kingston; in 1983 a limited stop shoppers service was introduced, running on Mondays, Thursdays & Saturdays only using Routemasters. The service briefly ran between Kingston & Chessington before being rerouted to run as a circular service via Tolworth. The route was short lived, being withdrawn in 1985. 
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