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What will replace the 14.5 metre buses?

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What will replace the 14.5 metre buses?

Postby Tim Williams » Tue Feb 05, 2019 12:59 pm

What will happen when the current 14.5 mtr need replacing? Maybe more 14.5 mtr’s., maybe not, as manufacturers are possibly not offering them any more, although Volgren does still show the option in their current product offerings.

The current 2 door 14.5 mtr buses have only 56 seats, is something of a road monster requiring specific road permits and the Scania/Volgrens in ride really badly – it almost seems as if the rear suspension set up is far too hard! No doubt, they have a high standee capacity, but in Adelaide at least, the standing loads were frowned upon as these buses operate along a freeway to and from the Adelaide Hills. This was very much the reason behind the double deck trial – high seated load (88??) and little need for standees; a safety issue according to the government.

Well, I am not sure how successful the Scania/Gemilang has been viewed as, but it is regularly in service most days and drivers and passengers both seem to like it.

The problem with deckers is that unless a large fleet is operated, the cost sorting out the roads tree pruning, signs and poles modified) for say one or two buses is very expensive (per bus) and it probably is not worth it.

In Hong Kong, two operators have recently introduced a low height version of the AD Enviro 400 and it is an absolute ripper!
NWFB (New World First Bus) bought 50 in 2017 to replace and add to 40 low height Tridents and NLB (New Lantau Bus) have 14 in 2018/9 to operate to a ferry and to other places on Lantau Island where single deckers had previously been operating. Years ago NLB operated a small number of full height Leyland Victory deckers – I really don’t know how they got on with these as to get the Enviro 400’s operating a fair amount of tree pruning had to take place!

Both companies seem to operate these Enviro 400’s as sort of “go anywhere” buses - they are powerful, operate in areas with some really challenging topography - winding narrow roads with steep hills and loads of foliage and this brings me to the point of this.

These deckers are 10.4 mtrs long, only 4.168 mtrs tall (13’ 8”) and seat 73 + 15 standees + a wheelchair position. These particular ones are too wide at 2.52 mtrs, but wouldn’t take much effort to produce a conforming bus. An ideal replacement for the 14.5 mtr buses!

Whilst they have a modest overall height, being a full low floor chassis, there is sufficient headroom in both decks.

The photos (which will appear below) were taken last month show the NLB version, just coming into service and part of a page reproduced from Danny Chan’s Hong Kong Year Book 2017.
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Re: What will replace the 14.5 metre buses?

Postby Tim Williams » Tue Feb 05, 2019 1:06 pm

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Re: What will replace the 14.5 metre buses?

Postby aidenh37 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:07 pm

This is a problem with the Government's double decker plan - they need to recognise they can't just all of a sudden stop ordering articulated buses. Unfortunately, in real life, double deckers can't go everywhere - so I guess they'll just have to order more artics to replace both ageing 14.5m and other artics.

Canberra has at least one Volgren/Scania articulated which is really nice, and honestly I'd like to see those running less-used Metrobus and T-Way routes. Maybe order 3-door Optimus artics replace older buses and possibly pass on Bustech DDs to B-Line/some Metrobus routes? T80?

Keep in mind Station Link buses are about to be released from those duties, along with Metro itself - this should allow some or even all M61/607X/610 services to be dropped.

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Re: What will replace the 14.5 metre buses?

Postby burrumbus » Thu Apr 11, 2019 12:18 am

I like the green seats in the decker,Tim.Something different from the seemingly blue epidemic in AUSTRALIA
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