Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Ontario's New Double-Decker Buses - Some Tidbits

I learned some of the new double-decker buses won't fit under some of the bridges on the 400. Can you believe it?

After doing a bit of research, I discovered that the maximum vehicle height is identified as being 4.15 m under a Provincial Regulation, and the buses, according to another article, are 4.3 m tall.

There aren't many details put together in one spot, but if you saw the info that used to be posted on these links you will see first, you would have seen some useful stats and a link to a funny video that gave a hint to the problem. It was of a double-decker bus hitting a low bridge. Sadly the links are gone, but I still have the stats. Read on.

Double decker bus quick facts
  • The double decker buses are manufactured by Alexander Dennis Limited, a UK-based company. There are no North American manufacturers of double decker buses.

  • The buses’ dimensions are:

    • Length: 43 feet (13 metres)

    • Width: 8.3 feet (2.5 metres)

    • Height: 14 feet (4.3 metres).... HMMM - do we have a problem?

  • The standard 45-foot (13.7-metre) highway commuter bus seats 57 passengers; the double decker bus can carry 78 passengers – an increase of 21 riders or 37 per cent.
On the link that has now been taken down, it said:
  • To prepare for the introduction of double decker buses, [transit company] worked with the Ministry of Transportation, all road and fire departments from the regional and local governments along the proposed routes, representatives from 407 ETR, and the Ontario Provincial Police.

  • Selected routes for the double deckers have been thoroughly studied to ensure height clearance.
Some more interesting tidbits, including these stats about the new GO buses, can be found at: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=599540)

On a link that has since been taken down, there was a quote saying, "The people at [transit company] has to handle these buses with great care. I don’t want a situation to happen, as does this video shows: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_0YMKcQ4kE" The video is of a double-decker in Britain hitting a low bridge and the link is still active.

If you read on further (before the news announcement was taken down from www.cbc.ca/canada/ottawa/story/2008/03/20/mcguinty-infrastructure.html), you would have seen there was a new spending announcement that was made by the Provincial Liberals on March 20, 2008. The first two paragraphs tells all:
Ontario will spend another $1 billion this year to help municipalities repair and build roads and bridges as well as improve public transit and affordable housing, Premier Dalton McGuinty announced Thursday.

The money is on top of the $300 million earmarked for municipal infrastructure in the government's fall economic statement and another $150 million announced last month by McGuinty in a speech to municipal officials.
It makes you wonder if this spending announcement was because the transit provider had did all their homework and, despite this, found out that there were provincial numbers that didn't add up?

Apparently a few bridges need to be raised, or the roads need to be lowered, so I can't help but wonder if the Liberals felt they had to invest to cover up for their goof. I found this little tidbit about the buses not fitting under some bridges at http://www.gpmag.ca/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=67

If you read the last paragraph, it says:
There are limitations to the routes the new buses can travel because they are too tall to fit through many city underpasses.
You can also read some interesting news about the new double-decker GO buses at: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=599540.

I strongly recommend that you take a look.

To read about the unveiling of the new buses, where it says the buses can't fit under a few underpasses, read: http://www.gpmag.ca/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=67)

Be sure to read my other Blogs:
Accessibility: http://wheelchairdemon.blogspot.com
Health: http://wheelchairdemon-health.blogspot.com