TransLink is moving forward with its plan to bring double-decker buses to the Lower Mainland after a successful pilot project.
Two test buses were provided free of charge by U.K. bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis for a four-month trial, which saw the vehicles serve seven long-haul routes in Vancouver, Surrey, White Rock and Delta between November and March.
In a statement issued Thursday morning, TransLink said the pilot project yielded “overwhelmingly positive feedback.”
“More than 600 customers filled out the double-decker bus survey to date. Results show that customers are pleased with the increased capacity and comfort of the bus, calling it a ‘smooth ride.’”
A preliminary report following the first month of the trails indicated that 75 per cent of customers would be more likely to take transit if riding in a double-decker bus.
“Double-decker buses were also a hit with bus operators, scoring well in drivability, ease of maintenance and fuel economy,” the company said.
TransLink has sent out a request for proposals for 32 new double-decker buses and is expecting the new wheels will start arriving in mid-2019. Twenty-seven of the new vehicles will replace aging buses while the remaining five will expand the company’s fleet.
In addition to double the capacity of a conventional bus, the double-decker vehicles also feature:
- Panoramic views from the top deck
- A wide, well-lit staircase with handrails
- A screen that allows passengers to see if there are vacant seats up top before going upstairs, and
- Full accessibility with a low step, flat floor and ramp for boarding.