‘Smooth ride’: Double-decker buses coming to Metro Vancouver after successful pilot

This time next year Metro Vancouver might just look a bit more like London.

TransLink says after a successful pilot program, it will add double-decker buses to its fleet beginning in mid 2019.

The transit authority has issued a request for proposals for the delivery of 32 new double-decker buses after “overwhelmingly positive feedback” from the four-month pilot.

The two double-decker test buses, provided free by Scottish bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis, served seven long-haul bus routes in Vancouver, Langley, Surrey, White Rock and Delta during the test.

TransLink says feedback from more than 600 customers indicates that the double-deckers will be valuable additions to the bus fleet.

Haydn Acheson, president and general manager of Coast Mountain Bus Company, said most praised the “smooth ride,” the larger capacity — the buses can hold 50 per cent more passengers than the existing highway coaches — and the view from the top deck. Complaints were about the low ceiling on the upper deck and the lack of luggage racks.

TransLink estimates that 75 per cent of customers would be more likely to take transit if riding a double-decker.

Acheson said the buses also won over skeptical maintenance staff.

“It was just a terrific bus for us during our trials,” Acheson said.

The buses feature double the capacity of a conventional bus, panoramic views from the top deck, and a wide staircase with handrails to maximize safety.

Funding for the new double-deckers will be provided through the federal gas tax.

 

'Smooth ride': Double-decker buses coming to Metro Vancouver after successful pilot

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