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21 wheelchair passenger, before boarding the second one, and fuel economy with their articulated fleets. Most transit agen- then re-board the first one. cies (87%) reported the same experience with road clearance with their articulated fleets. The reported experiences with The repercussion of 45-ft bus dwell time on other buses reliability, availability, and road calls were evenly divided sharing the same bus bay or curbside stop is all the more sig- between "the same" and "poorer." nificant if a wheelchair user needs to board or exit the bus at the shared stop. However, these responses need to be put in perspective. Some respondents reported that fleet age and manufacturer re- OPERATING EXPERIENCES WITH sulted in the differences in rating these performance measures. HIGHER CAPACITY BUSES One maintenance manager observed that in comparison with standard 40-ft buses, "articulated buses had one or two more Respondents were asked to compare the performance of their doors, one additional axle, two more brakes, four more tires, HC vehicles with that of their standard 40-ft buses for several and an articulated joint; one would expect the maintenance to performance measures. The transit agency responses to the be proportionally higher." The same manager suggested that survey questions for each of the three types of HC vehicles operating costs such as fuel and maintenance costs should be are presented in Tables 2527. measured on a passenger capacity basis (e.g., number of seats). The operation and maintenance of articulated buses was SPARE RATIOS FOR HIGHER CAPACITY BUSES an area where a number of respondents reported poorer per- formance in comparison with standard buses. Approximately All except two of the respondents provided information on the one-half of the transit agencies reported poorer acceleration spare ratios for their HC fleets. The agencies were asked to (50%) and grade climbing (54%) capability with their artic- compare the spare ratio for their HC buses with that of their ulated buses compared with their 40-ft buses. A little more 40-ft buses. Table 28 provides a summary of the responses. than one-half (52%) of the transit agencies reported better Although there are a few exceptions and despite some of the maneuverability, and a large majority (83%) reported poorer maintenance problems mentioned by respondents with their TABLE 25 VEHICLE OPERATING EXPERIENCES REPORTED FOR ARTICULATED BUSES Operating Experience Compared with Standard 40-ft Bus Performance Measure Better Same Poorer Unknown Accelerationa 2 (8%) 10 (42%) 12 (50%) 0 Grade Climbinga 2 (8%) 9 (38%) 13 (54%) 0 Road Clearance 1 (4%) 20 (87%) 2 (9%) 0 Turning Maneuverability 12 (52%) 8 (35%) 3 (13%) 0 Fuel Economy 0 4 (17%) 19 (83%) 0 Range 1 (4%) 13 (56%) 6 (26%) 3 (13%) Reliability 1 (4%) 11 (48%) 10 (43%) 1 (5%) Availability 0 11 (48%) 10 (43%) 2 (9%) Road Calls 1 (4%) 11 (48%) 11 (48%) 0 Other Source: Transit agency survey responses. a One transit agency had multiple fleets of articulated buses and reported different acceleration and grade climbing experiences with their different sub-fleets. TABLE 26 VEHICLE OPERATING EXPERIENCES REPORTED FOR DOUBLE-DECK BUSES Operating Experience Compared with Standard 40-ft Bus Performance Measure Better Same Poorer Unknown Acceleration 1 (33%) 2 (67%) Grade Climbing 1 (33%) 2 (67%) Road Clearance 3 (100%) Turning Maneuverability 1 (33%) 2 (67%) Fuel Economy 1 (33%) 2 (67%) Range 1 (33%) 1 (33%) 1 (33%) Reliability 1 (33%) 2 (67%) Availability 1 (33%) 2 (67%) Road Calls 1 (33%) 1 (33%) 1 (33%) Other Source: Transit agency survey responses.