Translink Buzzer Blog

TransLink launches double-decker bus pilot project

We’re super stoked to let our readers know that today we officially launched a pilot project to test two double-decker buses on long-distance commuter routes!

The double-decker buses, supplied at no charge by British bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis, seat 80-86 passenger, up to 83 per cent more seating than the older highway coaches, and have double the overall capacity.

It’s all part of our commitment to exploring new options to better meet customers’ needs and the region’s transportation goals.

Which routes will these buses operate on?

As early as the end of next week, the two buses will begin service on routes travelling toward Vancouver from Langley, Surrey, White Rock and Delta, including:

  • 301 – Newton Exchange to Brighouse Station
  • 311 – Scottsdale Exchange in Delta to Bridgeport Station
  • 351/354 – White Rock/South Surrey to Bridgeport Station
  • 555 – Carvolth Exchange in Langley to Lougheed Station
  • 601/620 – South Delta/Tsawwassen Ferry to Bridgeport Station

What are some of the features of the bus?

  • Double the capacity of a conventional bus
  • Panoramic views from the top deck
  • A wide, well-lit staircase with handrails to maximize safety
  • A screen that allows riders to see vacant seats up top before going upstairs
  • Full accessibility with a low step, flat floor and ramp for boarding

Why double-decker buses?

To meet our growing ridership into the future and continue to make transit an attractive option for commuters across the region, we are experimenting with new fleet options to serve longer-distance routes where individual trips often exceed 40 minutes. These buses will help ensure passengers not only get a spot on the bus, but that more of them also get a seat.

Check out the pics!

Share your experience riding the double-decker bus by visiting translink.ca/doubledecker and completing the survey! Snap a photo of the bus on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #TransLinkTomorrow.

Couldn’t make it to the event? No problem! Get a behind the scenes look through our Instagram Story.

 

Author: Allen Tung


15 Comments

  • By Drew Snider, November 17, 2017 @ 8:29 am

    Great idea — esp. for those people who complained about “losing service” when the 351 was integrated with the Canada Line, way back when — but the 620 Tsawwassen Ferry/Bridgeport currently uses artics, which have a full-standing capacity of 110 (although maybe that’s more like 100, now that they’ve installed luggage racks), so the double-deckers will have a lower capacity on that route. Also, anyone who’s ever manhandled luggage up and down the stairs on a “decker” (I speak from experience, living in Victoria now) would suggest that might not be the best choice for a connector to the BC Ferries.

  • By David, November 17, 2017 @ 8:31 am

    Why did you have to wrap over all of the windows? From a rider experience it’s not going to sell the bus at all. Those fits on the window make everything outside blurred. Bug mistake, there’s enough metal to advertise the bus in and you could have left the windows, alone.

  • By Paul Anstett, November 17, 2017 @ 11:31 am

    I am not happy about this because there are VERY limited seats compare to long bus from Bridgeport to Ferries. NO ROOMS FOR SUITCASES FOR 1 & 2 FLOORS!!!! There is no room for tallest people at the top. STOP WASTE OF MONEY as BC Liberal who purchased two fast cat ferries, caused so much problems then sold them for cheap! Money should hire MORE securities, polices, and staff.

  • By Deano, November 17, 2017 @ 3:09 pm

    I agree completely with David. Please unwrap the windows!

  • By Baron, November 18, 2017 @ 9:14 pm

    Why not test them on the 257 Horseshoe Bay/Vancouver Express?

  • By Kelly Reaburn, November 26, 2017 @ 2:18 pm

    Would love to see both #70 Victoria Express and #620 Tsawwassen Ferry do double decker buses.

  • By Bill, December 30, 2017 @ 2:36 am

    Apparently this is the very good idea to solve the problem for overcrowding for the suburban routes and the ferry services, I hope Translink to have a good and successful trial for this double deckers on the suburban routes~~

    However, I think Translink should consider to put the double decker into the urban routes for trial, and also consider this double decker with 3-doors to replace some of the unreliable articulate buses for the B-Line services (Except 95 B-Line due to the clearance at SFU)~~

    https://flic.kr/p/RV9z9S

  • By Tammy, January 2, 2018 @ 3:06 am

    I totally agree with Bill on that we should get double deckers into trial for urban routes. Would love to have the 410 do double decker buses. It gets very crowed especially during rush hour times! I’ve seen people not be able to get on the 410 due to too many passengers and had to wait for next bus!
    As well, I agree with David. Please unwrap the windows so they can serve their purpose and allow passengers to view the lovely sights as the bus is travelling!

  • By Owen, January 7, 2018 @ 3:03 pm

    Been on it a few times now.
    Really like the bus but I don’t think it’s a good fit for the #620 Tsawwassen – way too much luggage on that route.

    And as others stated remove the window wrap – gives you a headache if you try to look through it from a window seat.

  • By Allen Tung, January 8, 2018 @ 10:45 am

    Hi Owen (and everyone else!), if you’ve ridden the double-decker and have a few moments, I encourage you to take the survey at https://www.translink.ca/doubledecker so we can learn more about your experience. Thanks!

  • By Roderick Louis, January 14, 2018 @ 4:59 pm

    Double-decker buses are the worst possible bus model choice for South Surrey/ White Rock bus routes…

    Translink’s plans to spend over $50 million dollars purchasing double-decker buses for routes that go through densely packed communities in South Surrey/White Rock conflict with common sense and are financially irresponsible.

    ->>> South Surrey/ White Rock (SS/ WR) residents and business owners should be being directly consulted by Translink- via public forums and other methods- regarding their bus model preference(s) to replace the (Orion Express Coach ) “Yellow bus” model that for decades has almost exclusively been used on SS/ WR bus routes that:

    1) Connect the Semiahmoo Peninsula communities of White Rock, Ocean Park and Crescent Beach;

    2) Go through the densely packed residential neighborhoods of Crescent Beach, Ocean Park and White Rock- to/ from Richmond’s Bridgeport Station;

  • By Roderick Louis, January 14, 2018 @ 5:13 pm

    Translink’s Low-Floor “Articulated bus” and Low-Floor “standard bus” models:

    1) Are the most appropriate bus models to replace the (Orion Express Coach) diesel “Yellow Buses” on South Surrey/ White Rock (SS/ WR ) routes; and

    2) should be used instead of double-decker buses on SS/WR routes …

    Double-decker buses’ maximum capacity of 80 to 86 passengers compares very badly to Articulated Buses’ maximum capacity of 115 to 120 passengers…

    (IE- ABs have approximately 50 percent higher passenger capacity than DDBs)

    And, ABs have 3 passenger entrance/ exit doors compared to DDBs 2, and the current, badly designed Yellow buses’ 1 …

    Even Translink’s ubiquitous Nova Standard Low-Floor Diesel-Electric Hybrid- buses (Maximum Capacity: 82) are a better design, and would be far more appropriate for South Surrey/White Rock’s densely packed residential routes, than double-decker buses…

    Contradicting Translink’s bizarre propaganda, the SS/ WR bus routes that double-decker buses were, until January 12 2018, being tested on:

    ->>> Are, primarily, not “long distance” routes along highways or freeways- where buses seldom stop to pick up and drop off passengers;

    ->>> Mainly, go through densely packed residential communities, with dozens of stops, usually every 1 or 2 blocks;

    ->>> Are not “to Vancouver” (as Translink’s website misleadingly infers), but to Richmond;

    The #351 route provides a cogent example:

    a) Nearly 60% of travel time is between the route’s starting point- Crescent Beach- and the South Surrey Park & Ride (37 minutes, 48 bus stops);

    b) There are only 2 bus stops between the South Surrey Park & Ride & the route’s terminus at Richmond’s Bridgeport Station (27 minutes travel time)…

    Instead of double-decker buses, Translink should replace the current, impractically designed (Orion Express Coach) diesel “Yellow Buses” that it (almost exclusively) uses between SS/ WR and Richmond- with hybrid-electric, “Articulated Buses” (hinge in middle)… while allowing passengers to board/ exit ABs from all of these buses’ 3 passenger entrance/ exit doors (similar to practices on the 95 B Line, 96 B Line and 99 B Line routes ).

    Yellow Buses only have 1 passenger entrance/ exit door, greatly slowing down, and regularly impeding passenger boarding and disembarking.

    Articulated Buses’ maximum passenger capacity of 120 is (roughly) 50 percent more than double-decker buses’ 80- 86, and 100 percent more than Yellow Buses’ maximum capacity of 60…

    Unlike YBs, ABs utilize a “low-floor” design, resulting in passengers having only 1 (very small) step up from the curb onto the bus- compared to YBs’ 3 large steps- thereby making boarding & exiting ABs much easier (and feasible) for persons with mobility aids, strollers, and the like, compared with boarding/ exiting YBs.

    For decades, the elderly & persons with mobility aids (of which the city of White Rock has a disproportionately high number!!) have not had their needs and challenges made a priority by Translink when models of buses have been chosen for South Surrey/White Rock routes.

    Expeditiously replacing all of the (Orion Express Coach) diesel “Yellow Buses” (currently assigned to SS/WR bus routes) with:

    – low-floor, Articulated Diesel-Electric Hybrid Buses,

    and/ or

    – low-floor, “Standard” Diesel-Electric Hybrid buses,

    … and allowing all-doors-boarding/ exiting on ABs- and on Standard buses- would go a long way to rectifying this unconscionable situation, something that Surrey’s and White Rock’s city councils should have jointly demanded long ago…

  • By Roderick Louis, January 14, 2018 @ 5:46 pm

    South Surrey/ White Rock (SS/ WR) residents and business owners should be being DIRECTLY CONSULTED by Translink- via PUBLIC FORUMS and other methods- regarding their bus model preference(s) to replace the (Orion Express Coach ) “Yellow bus” model that for decades has almost exclusively been used on SS/ WR bus routes that:

    1) Connect the Semiahmoo Peninsula communities of White Rock, Ocean Park and Crescent Beach;

    2) Go through the densely packed residential neighborhoods of Crescent Beach, Ocean Park and White Rock- to/ from Richmond’s Bridgeport Station…

    The facts that there has not been any legitimate, transparent public consultation re potentially permanently assigning double-decker buses to South Surrey/White Rock’s densely packed residential neighborhoods’ bus routes, and that, apparently, Translink has no plans for public forums for South Surrey/White Rock residents and business owners… brings into question:

    ->>> What, precisely, has motivated Translink’s highly paid senior official(s) to be arbitrarily “cheerleading” the potential purchase of $50 million+ dollars worth of double-decker buses by Translink??

    ->>> Why doesn’t the information that Translink has been distributing publicly re double-decker buses include:

    – Purchase costs for double-decker buses;

    – Purchase costs of potential alternatives to double-decker buses, such as articulated (hybrid electric) buses and (hybrid electric) “standard buses”;

    – Fuel usage and estimated annual and long-term maintenance costs data for double-decker buses??

    Fuel usage and estimated annual and long-term maintenance costs data for potential alternatives to double-decker buses, such as articulated (hybrid electric) buses and (hybrid electric) “standard buses”??

    – ACCURATE statistics re passenger capacities and specifications of double-decker buses vs potential alternatives to double-decker buses-
    such as articulated (hybrid electric) buses and (hybrid electric) “standard buses”??

    Before Translink makes any decisions to purchase, or to not purchase double-decker buses, South Surrey/ White Rock residents and business owners should be transparently consulted re their preferences of bus models that are used on routes through their neighborhoods…

  • By Allen Tung, January 16, 2018 @ 9:15 am

    Hi Roderick, I encourage you to leave your feedback about the double-decker bus either through the survey at https://www.translink.ca/doubledecker or through our Customer Feedback form at https://www.translink.ca/feedback so its logged for review by the right people. Thanks.

  • By Aisha Rahimi, February 23, 2018 @ 12:49 am

    Im in love with the bus. As a student i take 301 route almost everyday and there are senior citizens and construction workers etc. Who uses this route and the buses are always crowded leading to uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous ride for the people standing. Bus there is plenty of space in the double decker i dont mind the height problem as long as i can find a seat. P.s. if you have space to sit, why stand. I loved that each seat had its own stop button. Instead of those awkward pulling one that you cant really reach if you are standing. I saw some electric sockets as well. So big thank you for that. I loved the bus and i heard similar remarks from my peers who used the double decker. The buses are there to make our lives easier. I don’t understand why cant people just appreciate it instead of feeding tax money to security, it only leads to paranoia. Great example is our fellow neighbours (USA).

    P.s. please unwrap the windows. Thank you! 😀

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