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Use of Back Door on Buses

Sydney / New South Wales Transport Discussion

Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby Tallewang » Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:17 pm

One thing I can never understand when I travel on buses in the western suburbs, is the back door thing.

I most use buses in the eastern suburbs. Always exit the back door. I don't think I have ever got off the front door of a Sydney buses bus. Visiting the western suburbs, you can't get out the back door, and they seem to think it is strange to want to ! What the ! There must be at least one person, other than me, who has visited the western suburbs and tried to catch one of their buses. What's the deal with all that ?

It's going to be even worse, when they are all painted the same colour. I won't know whether to try the back door, or not.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby ajw373 » Sun Dec 08, 2013 7:16 am

It's dangerous apparently. Same reason why Action buses when they had 3 door artics never used the centre door (they were later removed) and all new deliveries are two door.

Now the question is why is it dangerous in some parts of a city, but not in others. Same too with Canberra and their artics. If anyone can find the answer would love to hear it.

PS. Once upon a time it was also dangerous for Canberra artics to run through the suburbs because it was dangerous. I believe an increase in the allowance for driving an artic made it safe.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby crimsontide » Sun Dec 08, 2013 7:33 am

If memory serves me correctly it stems back to a incident at East Wahroonga where a young school child was caught and dragged by the rear door. Subsequently private operators were advised not to use the rear door.
Last edited by crimsontide on Sun Dec 08, 2013 7:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby ajw373 » Sun Dec 08, 2013 7:36 am

crimsontide wrote:If memory serves me correctly it stems back to a incident at East Wahroonga where a young school child was caught and dragged by the rear door.


In this day and age I would have though edge strips were mandatory. Also still doesn't explain the difference the OP mentioned.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby crimsontide » Sun Dec 08, 2013 7:42 am

This was before the strips, and for whatever reason it is only the Privates that were affected and never changed even with the upgrades in safety.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby Fleet Lists » Sun Dec 08, 2013 7:47 am

crimsontide wrote:If memory serves me correctly it stems back to a incident at East Wahroonga where a young school child was caught and dragged by the rear door. Subsequently private operators were advised not to use the rear door.

I thought it was an incident at Penshurst that resulted in the ban of the back door but subsequently unbanned after safety improvements but the unban was never implemented.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby rogf24 » Sun Dec 08, 2013 8:11 am

I was once told by a hillsbus driver that the back door only opens "when it's busy".
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby pgt » Sun Dec 08, 2013 8:34 am

I seem to recall there was a rash of incidents involving both STA and private buses with passengers getting trapped in the rear doors (some resulting in fatalities) that caused an initial ban, then relaxing once a alert system was retrofitted to the doors (I thought this was why the STA Mk2 Mercedes have a corner of the door cut out and changed into rubber but could be wrong).

That being said, on the old ACTION Mercedes buses, one I saw in Southtrans/Veolia use had a sticker at the rear door reading something like "This door only opens at interchanges".

Most private bus drivers are probably so used to driving single door buses they forget there's a working rear door on newer buses (that's my observation at least), so leaving those who aren't regulars puzzled when the rear door doesn't open (regulars seem to make a beeline for the front door anyway).
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby ajw373 » Sun Dec 08, 2013 8:38 am

pgt wrote:That being said, on the old ACTION Mercedes buses, one I saw in Southtrans/Veolia use had a sticker at the rear door reading something like "This door only opens at interchanges".


That would have been left over from the Action days. Ironically those buses had door edge sensors since new.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby Daniel » Sun Dec 08, 2013 8:46 am

Reluctance to use the centre doors for the private operators is just a hangover from those past incidences. Drivers and operators don't want to deal with the possibility of an incident. However as routes have become more patronised, the government has insisted that centre doors are optioned on all new contract buses within Sydney. Whether or not they are used are up to the operators, drivers and of course the union! Private operators are annoyed at potential for passengers boarding through the rear and children stuffing about with the doors. They would actually prefer 4 extra seats... However, given the new importance of on time running perhaps we will see a change to this attitude for the benefit of speeding up dwell time.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby captainch » Sun Dec 08, 2013 8:59 am

PS. Once upon a time it was also dangerous for Canberra artics to run through the suburbs because it was dangerous. I believe an increase in the allowance for driving an artic made it safe.[/quote

funny thing MONEY it changes 'SAFTEY' :roll: :twisted:
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby MO-busfan » Sun Dec 08, 2013 10:24 am

In current bus models, the CCTV camera facing the centre door is interfaced with the Thoreb display. Any time the driver wants, he/she can open and close the centre door while watching from his/her seat. Better to open the centre door if the disembarking passenger is closer to it.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby eddy » Sun Dec 08, 2013 10:33 am

This could be a big problem with passengers standing at the rear door and then having to squeeze past standing passengers to get to the front door or even worse getting stuck until the next stop if the bus takes off.

If it is impossible to have a standard policy then at least there should be real big signs everywhere informing the passengers that the back door is not in use.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby simonl » Sun Dec 08, 2013 10:48 am

ajw373 wrote:In this day and age I would have though edge strips were mandatory.

What are edge strips? Just the rubber bit on the inner vertical edge of the doors?
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby ed K » Sun Dec 08, 2013 10:50 am

It all started when a woman was getting off with her child and the child was stuffing around, the driver didn't look properly closed the door and trapped the girl resulting in her being dragged.bus 2771 at kingsgrove rd in the early 1990's can't remember when maybe 94 95
The Wahroonga incident was a child getting off and running around either in front or behind the bus to cross the road without looking, i remember it was the last day of the school year in the early 2000's
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby ajw373 » Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:15 am

simonl wrote:
ajw373 wrote:In this day and age I would have though edge strips were mandatory.

What are edge strips? Just the rubber bit on the inner vertical edge of the doors?


Yes but some have sensors inbuilt. Action started using these in the early 80's when the Mercs were introduced, so nothing new.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby thunderbird » Sun Dec 08, 2013 3:30 pm

Transdev South, formerly Veolia at the time, had earlier this year on many of their Metrobuses operating on M92 a computer written sign sticky taped on to the back door stating "we regret to inform you that this door is unserviceable, we are sorry for any inconvenience".

I can understand on one bus but it was across many vehicles.

One day I was let off the bus at Bankstown interchange through the rear door of a Metrobus - one with the above mentioned sign on it.

I do remember reading somewhere that in the contracts for these private operators all new vehicles had to be fitted with two doors, it just seems nobody has stated why they have to all have rear doors in the bus.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby BroadGauge » Sun Dec 08, 2013 4:27 pm

pgt wrote:That being said, on the old ACTION Mercedes buses, one I saw in Southtrans/Veolia use had a sticker at the rear door reading something like "This door only opens at interchanges".

Unless anything's changed in the 2 years since I last visited Canberra, all ACTION buses still have that sticker. I'm not sure what the problem is with using the back door at other stops when they're happy to use it at the four main bus interchanges.

The strangest rear doors in Australia are the ones fitted to high floor buses in Adelaide (now of which there is only a handful left) which have to be manually pushed open (outwards) by passengers, and are unlocked/locked at the same time as the driver opens/closes the front doors. On at least some of the low floor buses they have a sticker noting that they have a "Driver Operated Door".
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby Bjwh86 » Sun Dec 08, 2013 4:48 pm

I use Busways region 1 and they use the back doors at interchanges with only some drivers using it at other locations.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby 08 XDi » Sun Dec 08, 2013 7:15 pm

ajw373 wrote:PS. Once upon a time it was also dangerous for Canberra artics to run through the suburbs because it was dangerous. I believe an increase in the allowance for driving an artic made it safe.


This would presumably be like the "electric train allowance" Melbourne drivers get?

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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby captainch » Sun Dec 08, 2013 7:20 pm

when we had conductors,the PTC offered drivers a extra $1 to drive the buses one man using both doors,I was at that union meeting ,up went the hands and end of conductors so the drivers sold their work mates out for a lousey $1 :twisted: including the UNION!
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby ZaccyM » Sun Dec 08, 2013 9:08 pm

I've never seen the back door (or middle door on articulated/"bendy" buses) opened except on State Transit buses. Once I saw someone stand at the back door on a Transdev South (formerly Veolia) bus and the driver actually said that they could only exit from the front door, so they do seem aware of the back, I guess they just don't want to use it or have been told not to use it. Might ask my bus driver friend and see what he says.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby Bus 400 » Sun Dec 08, 2013 9:13 pm

BroadGauge wrote:
pgt wrote:That being said, on the old ACTION Mercedes buses, one I saw in Southtrans/Veolia use had a sticker at the rear door reading something like "This door only opens at interchanges".

Unless anything's changed in the 2 years since I last visited Canberra, all ACTION buses still have that sticker. I'm not sure what the problem is with using the back door at other stops when they're happy to use it at the four main bus interchanges.


This rules appears to of been changed & those stickers are/have been removed from the newer buses (just like the rule about students standing for adults rule has gone). But you still get the older bus drivers enforcing the old rules, if only they would enforce the old fares.....
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby Gusbus » Sun Dec 08, 2013 10:00 pm

On top of what has already been said I feel it also gives a bit of extra control over the behaviour of passengers on the bus because passengers have to walk back past the driver preventing a speedy exit (out the back door) after an act of vandalism, for example.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby Mr OC Benz » Sun Dec 08, 2013 10:04 pm

If Sydney private operators can't handle two doors, I'd hate to see how they go with five doors! :lol: :roll:
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