Commuters will soon get to experience a jolly new way of getting to and fro, as TransLink debuts a pilot program to test out double decker buses on select long-distance routes.
There are two buses that will start service starting the week of November 20 on the following routes:
- 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
The buses have been provided to TransLink for trial at no charge from British bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis.
TransLink says that the double decker buses are part of the agency’s “commitment to exploring new options to better meet customers’ needs and the region’s transportation goals.”
The particular issue at hand on these routes are overcrowding at peak periods, when many riders find themselves packed onto buses for long rides with standing room only. The double decker buses mean more riders will be able to spend the 30-40 minute rides seated and more comfortable.
In fact, these double decker buses seat 80 to 86 people, and offer double the overall capacity.
TransLink will now spend some time working out how the depots and riders take to having these different buses in use, but say they do plan to bring 32 double deckers into their fleet by 2019.
Additionally, TransLink points out the features of these buses:
- 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