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17 TABLE 17 AGENCY-REPORTED CUSTOMER MOST LIKED AND MOST DISLIKED FEATURES OF HIGHER CAPACITY SERVICE Type of HC Bus Most Liked Most Disliked Articulated More seats--less standing Bounce and movement of rear seats at Less overcrowding highway speeds More space Low-floor bus ride not as smooth Ability to carry more passengers, no Seats in articulated joint one left at the stop Road dust entering passenger com partment Novelty of articulated joint Longer wait timesa Smooth ride As a HC commuter busb Comfortable interior Double-Deck Comfort and quiet of upper deck Having to negotiate tight stairwell View from the upper deck 45-ft Ride quality Narrow aisle ways Comfort of bus for long distance trips Steeper stairwell Quality of passenger compartment Longer boarding time Amenities Longer boarding time can in turn have a Image possible repercussion on the dwell time of other buses sharing the bus stop Source: Transit agency survey responses. a When bus is substituted for 40-ft buses. b When equipped with transit seating and no amenities. AGENCY-REPORTED OPERATOR ACCEPTANCE weather and does not have access to the radio or other fixed device communications on the bus. Similar to the previously discussed customer acceptance, survey respondents reported that operators generally like HC Several respondents mentioned the time involved for this buses. This is believed to be especially true for operators of procedure. The second feature about 45-ft coaches that was double-deck and 45-ft buses; as one respondent with both disliked by operators concerns its large turning radius that double-deck and 45-ft buses mentioned, operators appreciate results from its long wheelbase; one comment was that "the the recognition that accompanies being the operator of a very swinging tag axle leads to more corner damage." recognizable vehicle. In Victoria, senior operators primarily choose the runs with the double-deck buses and so it is very ISSUES OR CONCERNS RAISED WITH USE difficult for junior operators to sign up for these runs. OF HIGHER CAPACITY BUSES Several respondents indicated that operators appreciate Transit agencies were asked to identify any major issues or the 45-ft coaches for various reasons, including the smooth concerns that were raised by their use of HC buses. They ride and operation on highways; effective heating, ventila- were also asked to rank these issues and concerns. Table 18 tion, and air conditioning system; better line of sight from the provides a summary of the major issues and concerns that high driver platform; dependability, etc. Some respondents were reported. The transit agencies were asked to indicate the mentioned that operators appreciate the tight turning radius type of HC bus and to rank the major issue/concern, with "1" of articulated buses. indicating the most important. In terms of features disliked by operators, the most fre- The following tables identify the major issues/concerns quently mentioned issue for operators of articulated buses con- reported by survey respondents by type of HC bus: articu- cerned poor acceleration, which is the main factor explaining lated buses (Table 19), double-deck buses (Table 20), and the difference between customer and operator acceptance 45-ft buses (Table 21). (see Table 15). In addition, a few respondents mentioned that operators were sometimes concerned with operating articu- When reviewing these tables, the one common major issue lated buses in snow. or concern for all HC buses mentioned by several respondents is the capital cost of the vehicles. Two features were disliked by operators of 45-ft coaches. The first concerned the difficulty and time involved in board- In terms of issues that are specific to types of HC buses, the ing and securing customers using wheelchairs. As explained articulated buses stimulated various comments. Some respon- by one respondent: dents expressed concern about the capital cost of retrofitting facilities, although several admitted that new garage facilities [T]he wheelchair lift requires two bench seats to be moved forward had been planned with articulated buses in mind and, there- for each wheelchair: bus can accommodate up to 2 wheelchairs. fore, did not create any costs for retrofitting. In addition, a few The seats are difficult to slide due to their limited use. The operator has to exit the bus and operate the lift from outside the bus and respondents expressed considerable concern over the mainte- away from the driver console; he/she may have to stand in poor nance and/or operating costs for articulated buses, ranking