Daniel wrote:Even if we put aside the panel of approved suppliers, the bigger question is what NSW metro operator would go out on a limb to take on the extra operating costs of a fully low floor vehicle? Specifically if contract payments are based on a per km basis.
There is greater complexity in a vertical engine arrangement, angle drive and drop centre axles. Greater complexity equals greater time and cost to maintain in the longer term. Also consider a fully low floor vehicle is likely to result in greater glass area which is greater weight and cost, a taller saloon for the full length of the vehicle means a greater ac load and fuel cost? Another door, that adds another maintenance cost. The list goes on.
I've been following Latrobe Valley Bus Lines who've purchased a fleet of fully low floor Volvo B5LH (stepless aisle right up to the back) and they have no qualms about operating costs or ease of maintenance. In addition, this type of chassis is now used for double deckers in NSW and again there are evidently no concerns, yet some here claim it's apparently not OK for single deckers. Now CDC in Victoria is buying 50 low-floor single deckers:
https://www.busnews.com.au/industry-new ... -metro-cdc
It seems that the wall of the bullswool dam has breached. Particularly when you get cost-conscious private operators buying them and a government transit agency being concerned with "improving passenger access and safety".
Edit: Incidentally, with the mechanicals being relocated to the offside there for the RHD market, the way is apparently clear for a stepless back door, like this Wiener Linien version of the same model:
No more excuses for Sydney.
Perpetually on a T3 to "I. P. Pavlova, přestup na Metro. Příští zastávka, Náměsti Míru"