Jumbo buses struggling with Canberra Streets

johnboy 7 December 2010 16

steer-tag bus [Photo courtesy of Damien Hass]

The ABC has a story on issues ACTION is having with 26 new Steer-tag buses. (Bus spotters please send in to images@the-riotact.com)

Tom Elliott from the Department of Territory and Municipal Services says ACTION is changing some routes and widening corners to accommodate the vehicles.

“There’s a couple of places in the Territory where the buses don’t safely run on the road,” he said.

“We’re either doing a diversion around those at the moment, or we’re actually refitting the road. In most cases that’s a pretty minor piece of construction work for a curb or a gutter, just where the turn of the bus is a bit unsafe.”

These buses are to replace the increasingly aged bendy buses. In their defence big buses like this aren’t intended to be pootling around the suburbs.


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16 Responses to Jumbo buses struggling with Canberra Streets
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Aenveigh Aenveigh 8:10 pm 08 Dec 10

I’m astonished no-one has mentioned monorails yet.

Agree with Beau Locks on the midget seating – I always have to sit in the disabled/old people’s sideways seats if I want to emerge from the bus with kneecaps still intact…

georgesgenitals georgesgenitals 7:32 pm 08 Dec 10

The buses are getting too big.

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Sir Pompously Sir Pompously 5:29 pm 08 Dec 10

The original purpose of purchasing the 14.5m vehicles was as an articulated bus replacement. Artics are used heavily on School Runs and higher capacity Xpresso runs (Aswell as charters), however the 14.5’s are not authorised for use on school runs (At this stage) and have a set list of routes they can operate (In service and Out Of Service). Basically, they needed a wheelchair accessible high capacity vehicle and they failed simply because you cannot replace a high capacity artic with a not as high capacity 14.5 with many limitations. Replace Artics with Artics, they can be used on any route without problems (14.5m Steer Tags are better than a 14.5 non steer tag, ride Route 400 in Sydney and you will see what I am talking about). The trailer follows the front of the bus, and there is not as much tail swing.

The Intertown (Now Blue Rapid) needs higher capacity vehicles, which apart from being rejected from other routes, the 14.5’s are being used on. If ACTION have to sacrifice bike racks for capacity, then so be it. A vehicle longer than 12.5m will never recieve a bike rack, so no matter what high capacity buses they purchase none will get one. The purchase of High Capacity Vehicles is more than just the Intertown, it is about school, charter and peak express work all of which require the capacity that a standard 12.5m vehicle will never be able to offer (Grail, find an extra driver for each extra service you propose and you may have a deal). They also need them to replace the ailing Renault/MACK PR180.2’s (High Floor artics) which are really showing signs of wear due to heavy use on the Intertown network pre ’98, which have never been refurbished (Unless you count the removal of the third Centre door) and are slowly heading into retirement with their use on School, Peak and charter services (And getting slower by the day).

Sammy Sammy 9:53 am 08 Dec 10

Why don’t you just use two shorter busses?

You’re aware that each bus requires a separate driver, right?

Grail Grail 12:05 am 08 Dec 10

Dear ACTION: You only use the long busses for peak hour intertown services.

Why don’t you just use two shorter busses?

Beau Locks Beau Locks 10:14 pm 07 Dec 10

It’s crapulous that they’re ordering busses that can’t take bike racks: it’s the intertown routes that the long busses will be primarily used on that are exactly where racks needed most. We’ve survived quite well without bendy busses for ages now: why do we need new higher capacity busses?

And on a related matter, why does the council insist on fitting out all the green busses such that only midgets can comfortably sit in them? Is TAMS staffed exclusively by short people? Perhaps none of them actually use busses. Either way, they really are a shite fitout, and it is an issue peculiar to Canberra (along with not being able to use the rear doors).

bd84 bd84 9:05 pm 07 Dec 10

che said :

che said :

when are the bike racks going to be fitted?

I have my doubts that they will be, the bike racks make the smaller busses overlength once they are down. That is why the drivers hated them when they were introduced.

These new busses are built over the 12.5m maximum length already & adding a rack will make them worse.

I am a bit peeved actually as they are using them on the runs that I usually use. Interestingly they have not been using the old articulated busses on these particular runs.

Pedal Power is working towards keeping the racks so we will see what happens. It would be a massive shame if we lost them.

You are correct, the 14.5m steer-tags will never be fitted with bike racks as it is currently illegal due to the length of the buses. Add in that the buses are only allowed on certain roads in the ACT because of their excess length, I don’t think ACTION will be funding any additional changes to road configuration for the extra 2 or so metres the racks add to the length of the buses.

screaming banshee screaming banshee 8:36 pm 07 Dec 10

gospeedygo said :

The drivers have trouble enough as it is negotiating roundabouts in Nicholls. They never fail to jolt me out a daydream about [i]not[/i] being on a bus.

I wouldn’t be caught dead in Nicholls, but I imagine they are the type of roundabout that is designed for buses to drive over, like the one near the Mitchell cemetery.

KB1971 KB1971 7:53 pm 07 Dec 10

che said :

when are the bike racks going to be fitted?

I have my doubts that they will be, the bike racks make the smaller busses overlength once they are down. That is why the drivers hated them when they were introduced.

These new busses are built over the 12.5m maximum length already & adding a rack will make them worse.

I am a bit peeved actually as they are using them on the runs that I usually use. Interestingly they have not been using the old articulated busses on these particular runs.

Pedal Power is working towards keeping the racks so we will see what happens. It would be a massive shame if we lost them.

Carl Carl 7:49 pm 07 Dec 10

when are the bike racks going to be fitted?

Probably never, it’s kinda like putting it on a bendy bus?

thy_dungeonman thy_dungeonman 7:40 pm 07 Dec 10

when are the bike racks going to be fitted?

^apparently the new long buses are so long that putting bike racks on them would make them too long for regulations and so unfortunately they won’t be getting racks. I think I read that either here or the Canberra Times.

JC JC 6:17 pm 07 Dec 10

Nothing new here, they knew they were too big and some mods needed to be made, especially around the depots where at present they are banned at certain hours. Ironically the articulated buses that these will replace were also considered too big and dangerous for suburban use by the union hence why for so long they were just used on the 333 and charters. Though I guess a little more money in the drivers pockets made them less dangerous hence why they are now common sights on suburban roads.

che che 5:24 pm 07 Dec 10

when are the bike racks going to be fitted?

peterepete peterepete 5:11 pm 07 Dec 10

Looks like it needs wings

gospeedygo gospeedygo 12:55 pm 07 Dec 10

The drivers have trouble enough as it is negotiating roundabouts in Nicholls. They never fail to jolt me out a daydream about [i]not[/i] being on a bus.

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