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12 Finally, several respondents focused primarily on the DIFFERENT WAGE RATES marketing image provided by the HC vehicles, typically for BRT applications or 45-ft coaches, or the enhanced customer The vast majority of transit agencies, 31 of 32 (97%) do not comfort. Comments included: pay operators of HC buses a different wage rate. The only ex- ception is the Regional Transportation Commission of Improves image and makes program more visible; Southern Nevada, which pays the operators of the MAX Avoids passenger perception of standard bus service; (BRT articulated) and The Deuce (double-deck) buses $1 per Encourages "choice" riders to use the transit option; hour more than their other bus operators. It should also be and noted that in the past King County Metro Transit had a wage Makes bus equivalent to car: reclining seats, provide differential; however, it has since been negotiated out of the live satellite feed. labor agreement. DEPLOYMENT DATES OF LEGISLATIVE AND REGULATORY IMPEDIMENTS HIGHER CAPACITY BUSES Survey respondents did not identify regulatory limitations as As discussed in the section on the historical evolution of a significant issue, although some references were made to HC buses in chapter one, articulated buses have operated the limitations created by the regulations for double-deck in North America for nearly three decades. Among the buses (height and weight) and articulated buses (length). respondents to the survey operating articulated buses, five Only four transit agencies reported any legislative or regula- (21%) were members of the original Seattle/Caltrans pur- tory impediments to the use of their HC buses, and these chase consortium in the late 1970s, and 50% of the re- impediments and the actions taken are listed in Table 9. spondents deployed their articulated buses more than two decades ago. Twenty-nine percent of respondents have FACILITIES OR INFRASTRUCTURE deployed articulated buses in the last 10 years; of these, MODIFICATIONS just under half acquired articulated buses for use in a BRT operation. The survey sought to assess the capital cost of modifications to facilities or infrastructure necessitated by the deployment The situation is quite different with respect to the de- of HC buses. Respondents reported that the facilities and/or ployment of 45-ft buses. As previously mentioned, in 1991, infrastructure modifications ranged from modest amounts to ISTEA introduced the concept of National Network (NN) $1,600,000. Only 4 of the 29 respondents reported expendi- highways, and defined vehicle width and length standards tures between $900,000 and $1,600,000. Table 10 provides a for the NN. In particular, it prohibited states from restricting breakdown of the types of modifications that were made. In buses that were 45 ft or less on NN highways, which enabled most situations, required capital modifications appear to be this new type of HC bus. New 45-ft bus intercity coach mod- very modest. However, it should be noted that in some cases, els were developed and marketed, and transit systems planning for HC buses was carried out well in advance and started taking advantage of this opportunity to deploy 45-ft modifications to maintenance facilities were incorporated coaches on long-distance commuter express services, typi- into the planning and design of new facilities. In addition, cally along Interstate highways or expressways, to serve many articulated bus fleets were deployed many years ago, suburban park-and-ride terminals. Among survey respon- and the costs of modifications are a distant memory. dents, the earliest deployment of 45-ft coaches was in 1994, but it appears to have taken a few years for these vehicles to In terms of specific modifications required by the type of become more commonplace: 78% of the reported deploy- HC bus, those agencies using double-deck bus fleets cited ments of 45-ft coaches and buses have occurred since the modifications required as a result of the height of the vehicle. year 2000. Items mentioned included the removal or modification of TABLE 9 REPORTED LEGISLATIVE AND REGULATORY IMPEDIMENTS TO USE HC BUSES Legislative/Regulatory Impediment Action Taken Axle Load Nevada revised statue to increase axle load for public transportation vehicles Articulated Bus Length Utah DOT issues an exemption certificate each year to allow 60-ft articulated buses to operate on Utah's highways Bike Racks on 45-ft Coaches California revised statute to allow bike racks on coaches Double-Deck Bus Height The double-deck buses are over-height and must carry an over-height permit issued by the Province of British Columbia Source: Transit agency survey responses.