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STA Privatisation / Franchising

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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby tonyp » Wed May 09, 2018 7:08 am

Linto63 wrote:But then they were introduced on routes radiating from the cbd to the suburbs with journey times of up to about an hour. The passenger base would have been a combination of short and long haul. While they had a higher crush load, two-thirds had to stand, which was a reverse of what the deckers they replaced had and hence the punters weren't overly happy.

That's not an argument against artics, that's TfL not deploying their buses the right way - or maybe those services were so busy that they needed capacity that deckers couldn't provide without putting many more of them on the road. Even so, the turnover of passengers along a longer route would ensure that most people would eventually get a seat along the journey.

If TfNSW is really on this course (and I don't fully believe it yet because of its sheer insanity), the use of double deckers on the Bondi Beach services should be something really interesting to behold - or rather doesn't even bear thinking about.

Stu wrote:* Confirmed Region 6 routes.
389.

This is quite interesting as it goes into the heart of the eastern suburbs. I was a bit out-of-date with the changes on the 389, which was the old Bellevue Hill tram line, but I see that it no longer goes to the beach but now ends at Bondi Junction. A pity, as it would give TSA the opportunity to prove their worth serving the beach vs STA, if the route was supplied with artics.

The Bondi Beach corridor is a real proving ground for the bus industry because it's one of those big corridors where the option of capacity upgrades to trains or trams have been ruled out for other reasons (some of them stupid in the case of trams), so the bus industry has to rise to the occasion because it's the only option for now. The only way they can do that is with a full service of (at least) three-door artics which really need to be all-door loading. Can TfNSW do it and, if not, can they let a private have a go at it with no restrictions on innovation?
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby Linto63 » Wed May 09, 2018 9:18 am

tonyp wrote:That's not an argument against artics, that's TfL not deploying their buses the right way - or maybe those services were so busy that they needed capacity that deckers couldn't provide without putting many more of them on the road.
Its boils down to opportunity cost. A bendy may carry more passengers, but a higher percentage will have to stand. On balance it was decided that the increased cost of operating more buses would better serve the wants of passengers, so the deckers returned.
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby tonyp » Wed May 09, 2018 9:51 am

Linto63 wrote:
tonyp wrote:That's not an argument against artics, that's TfL not deploying their buses the right way - or maybe those services were so busy that they needed capacity that deckers couldn't provide without putting many more of them on the road.
Its boils down to opportunity cost. A bendy may carry more passengers, but a higher percentage will have to stand. On balance it was decided that the increased cost of operating more buses would better serve the wants of passengers, so the deckers returned.

The funding source is going to have to be happy with that. For every 7 artics they need 10 deckers to do the same job and possibly more, as the deckers will take longer to turn around because they're slower (both moving and at stops). This also means that you need three extra drivers and it really starts to add up.

So against this, you're comparing a level of customer comfort where everybody is seated from the start with a situation where everybody is progressively seated with passenger turnover along the journey. That's a subtle difference, not a bald one where it's either all sitting or all standing. To indulge the all-sitting-from-start option in this context is a big call unless money is no object.
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby Linto63 » Wed May 09, 2018 10:19 am

tonyp wrote:The funding source is going to have to be happy with that.
Evidently they are. Don't worry Tony, you don't have to go there. :D
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby Ray » Wed May 09, 2018 10:21 am

Hey Stu,

You can add the M20 to that list now! TfNSW made a mistake and forgot to tell STA it was a Region 6 contract route!!

This also means another fleet reshuffle, as some of the red artics STA kept, will have to go back to T or L, given the loadings on the M20.


Hmmm....is this fair dinkum? I suppose even if it is true, it's still one hell of a joke. Not sure how you "forget" a route!
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby burrumbus » Wed May 09, 2018 10:27 am

TFNSW in one phrase again !!
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby Tim Williams » Wed May 09, 2018 10:54 am

I can see both sides of this ongoing deckers vs. artics argument. Yes, I am sure from a pure operational/capacity aspect 10 deckers would be needed to every 7 artics in service. However, this all gets back to the reason buses are operated and that is to carry passengers from one place to another and if people are going tempted out of their cars in reasonable numbers, then the cattle class operation of high standing loads in artics will not succeed.

I think Sydney with its road congestion, hilly topography and often relatively narrow and windy loads is not a good operational environment for artics, whereas Adelaide with its (often) wide straight roads and lower overall road congestion suits the operation of artics very well. Additionally, the use of the "combo" artics with a high level floor from mid way through the front section to the back does result in a higher seating capacity and less complex mechanicals (turntable, rear axle transmission and engine layout etc) than the full low floor artics which I think are used in Sydney.

The past Atlantean operation in Sydney failed, due to an intransigent union attitude to OMO operation, their poor body design/low capacity and the shortcomings of the Atlantean chassis in general - i.e. it was an unreliable bus! The new generation of deckers are far better engineered and the bodies are much better than those old Pressed Metal ones and if common sense prevailed with axle weights (and we joined the rest of the World) then the overall capacity of a 12.5mtr decker could reach about 130 passengers (with 96 seated) - The overall capacity of the 12.8 Enviro 500's in Hong Kong is nearly 150, but the seat spacing is fairly tight!

So keep your minds open and embrace both the deckers and the artics in their own suitable environments.
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby J_Busworth » Wed May 09, 2018 11:07 am

Ray wrote:
Hey Stu,

You can add the M20 to that list now! TfNSW made a mistake and forgot to tell STA it was a Region 6 contract route!!

This also means another fleet reshuffle, as some of the red artics STA kept, will have to go back to T or L, given the loadings on the M20.


Hmmm....is this fair dinkum? I suppose even if it is true, it's still one hell of a joke. Not sure how you "forget" a route!


Well it is listed as Eastern in the PDF timetables and all the shifts have been done assuming that STA will have M20 so I'd say it is easier to keep it as STA
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby Ray » Wed May 09, 2018 11:30 am

Suppose it would be STA's problem if there had been a miscommunication - TNSW are the client, after all.

But that's assuming our hypothetical scenario is real!
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby tonyp » Wed May 09, 2018 12:00 pm

Tim Williams wrote:I can see both sides of this ongoing deckers vs. artics argument. Yes, I am sure from a pure operational/capacity aspect 10 deckers would be needed to every 7 artics in service. However, this all gets back to the reason buses are operated and that is to carry passengers from one place to another and if people are going tempted out of their cars in reasonable numbers, then the cattle class operation of high standing loads in artics will not succeed.

I think Sydney with its road congestion, hilly topography and often relatively narrow and windy loads is not a good operational environment for artics, whereas Adelaide with its (often) wide straight roads and lower overall road congestion suits the operation of artics very well. Additionally, the use of the "combo" artics with a high level floor from mid way through the front section to the back does result in a higher seating capacity and less complex mechanicals (turntable, rear axle transmission and engine layout etc) than the full low floor artics which I think are used in Sydney.

The past Atlantean operation in Sydney failed, due to an intransigent union attitude to OMO operation, their poor body design/low capacity and the shortcomings of the Atlantean chassis in general - i.e. it was an unreliable bus! The new generation of deckers are far better engineered and the bodies are much better than those old Pressed Metal ones and if common sense prevailed with axle weights (and we joined the rest of the World) then the overall capacity of a 12.5mtr decker could reach about 130 passengers (with 96 seated) - The overall capacity of the 12.8 Enviro 500's in Hong Kong is nearly 150, but the seat spacing is fairly tight!

So keep your minds open and embrace both the deckers and the artics in their own suitable environments.

The Sydney street environment is certainly no disincentive to artics. They're more sprightly than deckers and will complete a journey quicker than deckers due to their faster running and their much shorter dwell time at stops. Journey time is an important factor with many if not most commuters. Also in the past, Sydney's hills and cambers were often actually the underlying cause of loss of deckers, with a number of terrible accidents (overturns) in the past.

I do have a personal prejudice - I grew up riding deckers in Sydney (and in London too when I lived there as an adult) and I hated them. Riding the new MANs in Sydney doesn't change my opinion, they still feel unstable and are cramped for space (horizontally and vertically) and the stairs are as terrible as they always were in deckers. I'd rather stand in an artic than sit in a decker, but that's just me! My opinions here are based on technical and operational issues, not personal feelings. I think deckers are pretty-well the right choice for the northern beaches service.

I agree about operating environments - i.e. horses for courses. The issue being talked up in Sydney is operating deckers in services for which they're not suited. As for the two-door Combo artics I see in Canberra and Adelaide, in many ways they might as well be deckers because they're designed in that variant as long distance, low turnover buses that are really unsuitable for internal movement of standees and boarding and exiting because of their steps both in aisles and at doors. I don't think the high floor in them is the reason for more seats, it's the deletion of the second of the usual three doors that creates more seating. Rather like the two door artics on Sydney's northern beaches. This is not what artics are all about.
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby Linto63 » Wed May 09, 2018 12:22 pm

Give that we are getting way off topic have started a new thread here to discuss the merits of deckers vs bendies. viewtopic.php?f=2&t=85735

Perhaps a friendly admin will be able to copy the relevant posts across? :D
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby Tim Williams » Wed May 09, 2018 12:34 pm

Yes, interesting comments, but I do strongly feel that more seats in buses is the only way to get most people out of cars!
The excessive road cambers and then poles and shop awnings are a perennial problem for tall vehicles here - trucks, but especially deckers, which are usually taller. There is a minimum in seat spacing which would apply to all buses so the comfort factor is down to operator specification.

Current staircases (which are generally straight) are a huge improvement over the old rear-loaders curved affairs, which occasionally did throw people out onto the road if they slipped!! I spent my first 11 years in Birmingham where the corporation buses (all 1,900 of them) had straight staircases in rear loaders. I think that Bustech CDI has a particularly good/wide straight staircase.

The combo artics are a bit of a compromise but do their job well - the increase in seat capacity (over the full low floor ones) is due to lack of wheel arch and mechanical unit intrusion into the cabin. I have travelled quite a lot on Singapore's fully low floor Mercedes 0530 Citaro's and a magnificent bus they are but a really low seating capacity for a 12 metre bus, with the rear seats up on pedestals and at least one seat sacrificed for some mechanical item(s).

Just staying with Singapore, they do mostly (but not exclusively) use their extensive decker fleets on the longer interchange to interchange routes, with the Citaros, Scanias and MAN single deckers on local routes and recognising the slower loading of deckers, they are (as I am sure you would know) trying out in service one of the two prototype 3 door twin staircase deckers.

I must say that I very much doubt Sydney will finish up with a large decker fleet, I think the two in Adelaide will remain as the only ones and I don't see much happening in the other large cities - I would love to be wrong, but there we are!!
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby gld59 » Wed May 09, 2018 12:50 pm

Tim Williams wrote:Additionally, the use of the "combo" artics with a high level floor from mid way through the front section to the back does result in a higher seating capacity and less complex mechanicals (turntable, rear axle transmission and engine layout etc) than the full low floor artics which I think are used in Sydney.

One of the metrobus prototypes (2111) is mostly high-floor. Another (2112) is full low-floor. All other State transit artics are the same (rear underfloor engine) design principle as their low-entry non-VST rigids - low-floor to the rearmost door.

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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby Tim Williams » Wed May 09, 2018 1:15 pm

The other other point that I should have mentioned about artics is their cost of operating which is quite an amount higher than all other buses , including deckers. They are heavier and therefore use more fuel are there is the additional maintenance around the turntable and hydraulic anti jack-knifing arms etc.

But I have added to taking this topic off in the wrong direction, so I will find the appropriate topic if more discussion needs to take place, which I am sure will happen over time.
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby Daniel » Wed May 09, 2018 1:20 pm

gld59 wrote:
Tim Williams wrote:Additionally, the use of the "combo" artics with a high level floor from mid way through the front section to the back does result in a higher seating capacity and less complex mechanicals (turntable, rear axle transmission and engine layout etc) than the full low floor artics which I think are used in Sydney.

One of the metrobus prototypes (2111) is mostly high-floor. Another (2112) is full low-floor. All other State transit artics are the same (rear underfloor engine) design principle as their low-entry non-VST rigids - low-floor to the rearmost door.

gld

As a side note, 2112 was listed to transfer to L and into Region 6. So that summarises STA’s view on that particular vehicle.
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby tonyp » Wed May 09, 2018 1:33 pm

Tim Williams wrote:The other other point that I should have mentioned about artics is their cost of operating which is quite an amount higher than all other buses , including deckers. They are heavier and therefore use more fuel are there is the additional maintenance around the turntable and hydraulic anti jack-knifing arms etc.

But I have added to taking this topic off in the wrong direction, so I will find the appropriate topic if more discussion needs to take place, which I am sure will happen over time.

But the operating cost would be less than the two 12 metre vehicles that would be be needed to replace each one, not least of which is the matter of one less driver!

I had this conversation with Nowra Coaches recently as they weighed up the option of replacing their artics with new artics or going for 12 metre buses but with an extra bus and driver required for each. They found that the financial equation came down firmly on the side of the artics - all $4.5 million worth of them! The cost of the driver was a major factor, which I've heard before in dicussions about operating costs, possibly the biggest item apparently.
Last edited by tonyp on Wed May 09, 2018 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby tonyp » Wed May 09, 2018 1:36 pm

Daniel wrote:As a side note, 2112 was listed to transfer to L and into Region 6. So that summarises STA’s view on that particular vehicle.

Not sure whether you're being tongue in cheek but I would regard it as a gift of the most fit-for-purpose vehicle in STA's entire fleet! It should be running the Bondi service.
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby Swift » Wed May 09, 2018 3:49 pm

TSA will probably make better use of 2112.
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby Daniel » Wed May 09, 2018 3:51 pm

If it is on the road, that is.
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby Swift » Wed May 09, 2018 7:58 pm

We have a Scania that's unreliable? That's a first for me.
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby Frosty » Wed May 09, 2018 8:13 pm

When it was P I don't remember seeing it that much I would see 2108 & 2111 more often, though when 2112 was at P did drivers and/or mechanics dislike also hence it wasn't on the road often ?
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby Swift » Wed May 09, 2018 8:32 pm

Frosty wrote:When it was P I don't remember seeing it that much I would see 2108 & 2111 more often, though when 2112 was at P did drivers and/or mechanics dislike also hence it wasn't on the road often ?

Probably more to do with it being different, more than anything else. The maintainance staff become accustomed to bus types and learn what to do to keep them active.
What better example than that blunderbus, the 0405NH CNG. If they can keep them on the road, they could easily keep a fleet of N310UBs going once they get the hang.
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Re: STA Observations - January to June 2018

Postby lunchbox » Thu May 10, 2018 3:48 pm

How come there are so many blue/white rigids on the M50?
Overloading inbound at Moore Park / Surry Hills is increasing.
Who to complain to to get a result?
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Re: STA Observations - January to June 2018

Postby Swift » Thu May 10, 2018 4:15 pm

lunchbox wrote:How come there are so many blue/white rigids on the M50?
Overloading inbound at Moore Park / Surry Hills is increasing.
Who to complain to to get a result?

As seen a few posts back.
I some how think TNSW would be an exercise in futility, much like resisting the Borg on Star Trek.
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Re: STA Observations - January to June 2018

Postby Fleet Lists » Thu May 10, 2018 4:30 pm

lunchbox wrote:How come there are so many blue/white rigids on the M50?
Overloading inbound at Moore Park / Surry Hills is increasing.
Who to complain to to get a result?

M50 is one of the routes going to Transit Systems as part of region 6 - the problem has been caused by the reorganisation of routes to get ready for the handover.
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