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Use of Back Door on Buses

Sydney / New South Wales Transport Discussion

Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby simonl » Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:52 pm

molybtek wrote:The service I got on was a T64, is the use of back door boarding at Parramatta a regular occurrence now?

I've never seen it.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby Frosty » Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:57 pm

tonyp wrote:1. Sydney STA bus deals with huge railway crowd:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foSHdU7ZqF8

2. Toronto bus deals with huge railway crowd:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPtwbpByPds

1. Could be a still-life painting, crowd doesn't move, just one door that keeps opening and shutting then stays shut after a handfull board, plenty of room inside.

2. Likewise not the best sort of vehicle for the job capacity-wise, but at least everything is moving and filling through every available opening.


Interesting to note in Sydney sometimes though I have had two extreme's people queue patiently and get onboard very slowly or the other end where people storm onboard like its a US Black Friday sale. Also to note in Singapore I've seen people stand on the upper deck of buses during situations where buses have replaced trains.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby tonyp » Sun Apr 15, 2018 2:40 pm

Frosty wrote: Also to note in Singapore I've seen people stand on the upper deck of buses during situations where buses have replaced trains.

That has potential for the bus substitution to be replaced in turn by an ambulance substitution!
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby Swift » Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:16 pm

tonyp wrote:1. Sydney STA bus deals with huge railway crowd:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foSHdU7ZqF8

2. Toronto bus deals with huge railway crowd:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPtwbpByPds

1. Could be a still-life painting, crowd doesn't move, just one door that keeps opening and shutting then stays shut after a handfull board, plenty of room inside.

2. Likewise not the best sort of vehicle for the job capacity-wise, but at least everything is moving and filling through every available opening.

It isn't hard to find anywhere in the world that deals with crowds better than staid old Sydney with it's rigid policies and thoughtless people.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby rogf24 » Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:23 pm

Toronto only does all door boarding at train stations. At bus stops everywhere else, front door only.

Toronto used to have front door boarding on their trams as well but they changed it in recent years to all door boarding on trams.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby tonyp » Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:16 pm

rogf24 wrote:Toronto only does all door boarding at train stations. At bus stops everywhere else, front door only.

Toronto used to have front door boarding on their trams as well but they changed it in recent years to all door boarding on trams.

Yes I know. I was using the examples to show how the major demands of rail replacement crowds are handled.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby simonl » Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:57 pm

Doesn't sound like resistance to all door bus boarding is just an Australian thing. Still, it's a pretty regressive attitude.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby tonyp » Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:38 pm

simonl wrote:Doesn't sound like resistance to all door bus boarding is just an Australian thing. Still, it's a pretty regressive attitude.

Even in Australia the resistance just a NSW thing. Everywhere else, when the need for it is realised, they just get down and do it without fuss. It's spreading in North America.

If you have an idle moment, phone TfNSW customer feedback and sit back and listen to one of their trained drones annihilate your brain with a lengthy and repetitive explanation of how it will result in endless injury and death. (Unless it's a tram, train or ferry.)

I was on a Gong Shuttle today and a elderly lady with a walking frame wanted to get off and went to the front door and was unable to physically make it out the door (a mob of people were also waiting outside to board) . The driver looked like he couldn't be bothered to fold out the manual ramp and she ended up asking him to kneel the bus (I thought they did this automatically when the doors open?), after which she struggled off backwards. Then the boarders boarded, the total dwell being of yawning duration. On the Perth CATs, an electric ramp for people who need it is deployed (controlled from the driver's seat) and while they are boarding at the front door, most others board at the centre door. I've watched ramp deployment/wheelchair plus exchange of 15 passengers take place all within 30 seconds on a CAT.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby Swift » Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:15 pm

And we wonder why the car is the default method to get around ,like trams used to be! NSW buses never stand a piece of dry ice's chance in Hades, of accomplishing that.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby Tonymercury » Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:52 am

TonyP - Electric ramps become another item that needs regular maintenance and probably preventive maintenance and, oh dear, that costs LSD. Can you actually see TfNSW specifying them in buses? Especially considering they won't specify properly built buses with proper multiple doors.


TfNSW = Demand suppression.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby simonl » Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:48 am

tonyp wrote:
simonl wrote:Doesn't sound like resistance to all door bus boarding is just an Australian thing. Still, it's a pretty regressive attitude.

Even in Australia the resistance just a NSW thing. Everywhere else, when the need for it is realised, they just get down and do it without fuss. It's spreading in North America.

If you have an idle moment, phone TfNSW customer feedback and sit back and listen to one of their trained drones annihilate your brain with a lengthy and repetitive explanation of how it will result in endless injury and death. (Unless it's a tram, train or ferry.)

I was on a Gong Shuttle today and a elderly lady with a walking frame wanted to get off and went to the front door and was unable to physically make it out the door (a mob of people were also waiting outside to board) . The driver looked like he couldn't be bothered to fold out the manual ramp and she ended up asking him to kneel the bus (I thought they did this automatically when the doors open?), after which she struggled off backwards. Then the boarders boarded, the total dwell being of yawning duration. On the Perth CATs, an electric ramp for people who need it is deployed (controlled from the driver's seat) and while they are boarding at the front door, most others board at the centre door. I've watched ramp deployment/wheelchair plus exchange of 15 passengers take place all within 30 seconds on a CAT.

Not true.

In Perth it only applies to the CAT buses. In Brisbane, only to the Glider buses. I don't think it applies at all in Melbourne.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby tonyp » Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:48 am

Tonymercury wrote:TonyP - Electric ramps become another item that needs regular maintenance and probably preventive maintenance and, oh dear, that costs LSD. Can you actually see TfNSW specifying them in buses? Especially considering they won't specify properly built buses with proper multiple doors.

TfNSW = Demand suppression.

I've been looking at these ramps for a few years now, originally in connection with trams. The story in Europe (and probably North America too) is that the electric/mechanical type are vulnerable in those areas to poor conditions in winter and can succumb easily to that horrible black muddy snow/slurry on the roads that obviously gets into the underworks of the vehicle. So the fold-out ramp has become widely the method of choice and it's also typically at the second door back (opposite the first wheelchair/pram space back from the driver) and involves a bit of a loss of time for the driver to get up and deploy it - but wheelchairs etc can be parked more efficiently without interfering with the internal workings and passenger flow/distribution in the vehicle.

The other problem that the fold-out type has is that when the vehicle is packed with people, a few are often standing on it, which makes the deployment even more interesting!

So, after observing the Perth operation in our sunnier climes, even though it's at the front door and thus further from the wheelchair space, the deployment process is much quicker and I've come to like it better. I haven't seen a failure yet (that would place the bus out of service because the ramp is interlocked with the doors), but if there is a record of failure I'm sure Transperth would be dropping the idea like a hot potato and they haven't. So I reckon it's worth a go across Australia. Of course it would cost more and probably involve an additional minor maintenance element, but, hey, what's the public transport task all about? (Yes, I know, Treasury's bottom line.)

Of course, electric ramps are far from unknown overseas - here's one in San Diego:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3l31i-FLnyg

Here's the passenger exchange process in Perth in the opening seconds of this video from our own Mr OCB:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zhio6oNgnRY&t

The only thing that annoys me is that I don't understand why the other doors have to be interlocked with the ramp as well but they tell me they can't get around that. Some engineering design issue there that needs to be studied.
Last edited by tonyp on Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby tonyp » Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:58 am

simonl wrote:Not true.

In Perth it only applies to the CAT buses. In Brisbane, only to the Glider buses. I don't think it applies at all in Melbourne.

Unclear what you're saying is not true. All-door boarding is so far used on specified services in Perth (also including event specials), Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane. My point is that they all just did it without some protracted hand-wringing process leading up to it.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby simonl » Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:20 am

There is still massive hand wringing in Brisbane. All door boarding doesn't apply to the most obvious services for Suncorp and the Gabba. Nor the unis. They had to create new services which included all door boarding from their inception.

In Perth it only applies to a handful of services.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby tonyp » Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:32 am

simonl wrote:There is still massive hand wringing in Brisbane. All door boarding doesn't apply to the most obvious services for Suncorp and the Gabba. Nor the unis. They had to create new services which included all door boarding from their inception.

In Perth it only applies to a handful of services.

About 13% of Perth bus patronage travels on all-door-boarding services. It's only because they're not yet confident of fully getting on top of revenue protection that they haven't extended it to all services. There is no other objection apart from this.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby Nugget » Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:50 am

simonl wrote:Doesn't sound like resistance to all door bus boarding is just an Australian thing. Still, it's a pretty regressive attitude.


In North America the all door boarding is a fare box issue in that many buses only have the fare box at the front door and cash is still the only accepted form of payment. Also, for instance NYC, many of the regular route buses still go by the board at front and exit at rear. SBS services are all door services due to the fact they are prepaid services.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby tonyp » Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:53 am

Nugget wrote:
In North America the all door boarding is a fare box issue in that many buses only have the fare box at the front door and cash is still the only accepted form of payment. Also, for instance NYC, many of the regular route buses still go by the board at front and exit at rear. SBS services are all door services due to the fact they are prepaid services.

Some cities like Boston and San Francisco seem to be finally getting beyond that so that they're able to introduce all-door boarding.

I well remember having to go and buy a cup of that horrible American coffee in order to get the exact change to get on a bus!
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby Swift » Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:32 pm

C'mon New South Fails, even the most un -public transport western country in the world is taking up the practise and it's not just Frisco and Boston either. We have the most staid and conservative transport planners on Earth I swear. Look forwards and get on with improving.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby Tonymercury » Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:27 am

tonyp wrote:
I well remember having to go and buy a cup of that horrible American coffee in order to get the exact change to get on a bus!



The things we do - I hope you managed to spill most of it.

I ended up realising in San Diego, since I was at the Amtrak station, that it was easier to buy a day ticket from the info booth. This was probably just as well, as I later showed a local how to use the ticket machines for a single trip and she paid with 20 and appeared to get change in quarters - it sounded like a win at Las Vegas!
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby tonyp » Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:42 am

Another major North American city looks likely to slip below TfNSW's high standards - and with somebody who's worked in Sydney promoting all-door loading too:

http://beta.nydailynews.com/opinion/and ... -1.3952566

At this rate, the only superior bus system left in the world will be Sydney's.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby burrumbus » Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:27 am

He will also need to deal with the driver's union,who have entrenched practices similar to STA's.Wish him luck.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby rogf24 » Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:52 pm

It's been a long time since Andy was in Sydney but it's great to see a decent bus plan. The only caveat with all door boarding is the "Concurrent with the New Fare Payment System" part.

http://web.mta.info/nyct/service/bus_plan/bus_plan.pdf
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby burrumbus » Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:00 pm

Thanks rogf24.The rate of patronage decline is amazing.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby deepthought2006 » Sat Apr 28, 2018 4:38 pm

Swift wrote:
Nugget wrote:
Safe -tee according to the union. Forget fool proof interlocks, making it impossible to drag a passenger off down the road by their leg, and cameras pointed to the doors. The wing mirror also. honestly, Sydney's developing culture of over caution is suffocating.


Suffocating? Try non-entrapping! Provided that those "safety" systems work all the time (and tested frequently to be sure) AND the driver is able to see what is happening at and outside the doors then I (and the RTBU) might agree with you. But not until then.

I'll spell it out: as I have mentioned before, when I drove for STA, any unsupervised centre door loading most certainly was NOT safe in most STA buses in busy conditions: in certain lighting and loading conditions the driver could not see if the centre door area was functioning properly and I know in detail of two cases also where the emergency door rebound function did not work. At all. In one of those cases it was as a direct result of an unauthorised, unsupervised, centre door boarding. When those problems all occurred together, it led to entrapments for which the passengers were delayed and inconvenienced and the driver was punished (demotion, suspension, pay loss, stress, etc). No injuries to the passengers. The only reason that the bus did not drive off after the entrapments was that in each case the driver heard something and also saw through an external mirror that something seemed to be wrong. So the park brake was reapplied (or not released), the driver's seat belt unbuckled, up and out of the driver's seat, stand up, turn around, walk back through the crowd to investigate as the driver still did not know what it was that had gone wrong. After ascertaining that there were no injuries, the driver then had to report in by radio that there had been an entrapment, knowing full well that the trip was over, the passengers now inconvenienced and delayed by far more that if they had all used the doors properly and that the driver was now in big trouble for something over which he had little to no control over, nor ability to avoid.

Hence my resistance to an otherwise common-sense proposal: these are NOT theoretical flaws and dangers. Those were incidents that actually happened. There are and, as far as I know, continue to be real flaws and dangers with unsupervised centre door boarding in Sydney, with the equipment that still is in use in many of the buses.

The real question is why have STA and TfNSW been sitting on their hands and not resolving the issues for the entire fleet? Supplying new buses with new technology that actually works is all well and good, but there is no retrofitting that seems to be going on. Have maintenance standards been improved also to prevent recurrences? I've not heard that that is so.

If those issues were to be dealt-with over the whole fleet with proper equipment, design and installation, plus effective maintenance, then yes it could and should be all doors, all the time, for all of the reasons discussed by Tonyp and others.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby tonyp » Sat Apr 28, 2018 5:21 pm

The cameras are an excellent solution, providing unparalleled vision of what's going on at the other doors. I would hope that all new buses are being supplied with them as standard now.

Mind you, the Australian jurisdictions that have been doing all-door loading hitherto (Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane) don't have cameras in a lot (possibly most) of their buses, yet don't appear to have the issues that Sydney bus drivers have. I have now spent many hours riding all-door services and observing them, including with massive crowds on board, and have never seen anything remotely approaching an "incident". One can be forgiven for being very sceptical when these things seem to happen "only in Sydney".

The nearest thing I've seen to an incident in NSW is a driver deliberatly trying to trim noses and fingernails off people attempting to enter through the centre door, using the CCTV and its excellent clarity to shut the door on them with split-second accuracy. One day that trick will go badly wrong for him. I call union-led bs on the issue in NSW - not "safety".
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