Use of Back Door on Buses

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Mr OC Benz
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by Mr OC Benz »

Whenever I was catching buses in Europe, I would always try to enter through the middle or rear door as it was much easier to get in and get to a seat than through the front door. In some parts of Italy, you enter the bus from either the front or rear (3rd door), then you exit through the centre door (or in some cases there are two centre doors). Thus creating a relatively good movement inside.

Our Hydrogen Citaros in Perth had the wheelchair bay opposite the centre door. Certainly worked well doubling up as standing space. The buses only had 30 seats, but they would've had a lot higher capacity than the standard Mercs in Perth. Not my photo, but just to demonstrate the maneuverability and good design of these buses (even if they only have two doors). Photo linked from another thread on this forum. Photo from http://www.perthbus.info.

Image
And a 3 door one with the engine in the offside position.
Image

All of the new CAT bus deliveries in Perth come with a layout similar to this to allow more standing passengers. But they honestly need to get rid of the steps, a few more seats and put an extra door in. But at least they allow boarding through both doors on these.
P1160705.JPG
The original CAT buses, disregarding how small they were, they did have good provision for standing room and capacity and were dual door boarding. Photo once again from http://www.perthbus.info.
Image

Apart from the obvious efficiency benefits from using LF buses and 3 doors, there's also an overall community benefit as you'll find that if people are continuously boarding through all the doors on a flat floor, there is less likelihood for vandals to scratch the windows or graffiti the buses (unless you are in Italy where they don't care) and also because there is less of a feeling of being at the back of the bus in a cave type environment (tight headroom, no rear window etc), any anti-social behavior that can often arise from the design of those buses is reduced with fully low floor buses with multiple entries. Doesn't stop or remove it entirely, but there are certainly those improvements.

Also thankfully tonyp, all of the Transperth fleet has always had double leaf centre doors (the newer buses have much wider centre and rear doors now though). The only single leaf buses (other than coaches and the MAN midi with single leaf front door for controlled boarding) is the buses that run around the Airport! Just as stupid, but hopefully this will change soon with the procurement of new buses to run the services at the Airport.

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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by Sydneyrail2014 »

Goes to show how backward sydney is in comparison to the rest of Australia. Especially private operators in Sydney

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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by Mr OC Benz »

All of Australia is very far behind though, in comparison to the good systems in Europe. A long way to go...

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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by boxythingy »

Here in Ningbo, bus drivers have the trouble of operating two doors, and manually pressing buttons triggering the digital voice announcement system for when the bus approaches the next stop and when turning a corner. :idea:
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by gld59 »

Mr OC Benz wrote:Probably the other important thing we need to do on top of switching from LE to LF buses is also moving the wheelchair ramp back to the centre door which is the ideal location which provides easy accessibility and manouverability giving independence to wheelchair users unlike the current front door set up.
Eww. I can see the case for adding a centre ramp, but moving it there would first require a complete change of our traffic and parking culture, everywhere such vehicles were to operate. It only takes one ill-parked vehicle clagging up a bus zone to make use of a front ramp difficult but a centre ramp impossible.

gld

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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by Mr OC Benz »

You ought to see Europe! Some places you question why they bother with accessible buses when they don't even have any suitable bus stops that would be able to load wheelchairs easily!

I can understand in some circumstances where a bus may not be able to pull into and align with the bus stop easily, but then I have seen drivers who seem to think it is alright to block off two lanes (where there is plenty of space to align with the kerb), so that the front door can be next to the kerb, but the centre or rear doors being anywhere as far as a metre from it! Suburban/rural areas is different and that is understandable. There is still a very low proportion of wheelchair users on many systems, so the likelihood of them being impacted is very low, but of course they still need to be factored in wherever possible.

In Berlin, there is a batch of Volvo 7000 (B7L) and Mercedes-Benz Citaro I buses which were delivered with 3 doors, and with 2 ramps fitted. One at the front door and the other at the usual location at the centre door. Berlin seems to have a bit of mixed running out of the main centre and so there are some places where bus stops are placed in awkward sections. Probably in the whole 8 months I spent in Europe, of which pretty much everyday I was using local transport, I only saw the wheelchair ramp on a bus ever needed to be used twice!

I believe there is also a Mercedes-Benz O405NH in Bunbury which has two doors, and I believe both doors did have wheelchair ramps, not sure if that is still the case though.

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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by tonyp »

gld59 wrote: Eww. I can see the case for adding a centre ramp, but moving it there would first require a complete change of our traffic and parking culture, everywhere such vehicles were to operate. It only takes one ill-parked vehicle clagging up a bus zone to make use of a front ramp difficult but a centre ramp impossible.

gld
I was sitting at an inner city bus stop for a while today and it was perfectly clear of parked vehicles, including the approach and departure. Every bus that came into the stop propped like a taxi with its backside out and the centre door out from the kerb.

As I've observed, European bus drivers, accustomed to all doors on their buses being used, are very good at pulling up close and parallel (even in artics). I find myself thinking that Australian (read British-descended) drivers are so primed to front entry that they only pay attention to getting that door at the kerb and don't worry about the rest. I don't think it's a refection of driving competence (I'm not going to even dare suggest that on this forum :oops: ), more a sort of cultural thing.

I'm sure if the door entry rules were changed, pulling-in style would also. Of course you can get vehicles blocking bus stops in any country, there's not much you can do about that other than leave it to the law.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by Xplorer »

boxythingy wrote:Here in Ningbo, bus drivers have the trouble of operating two doors, and manually pressing buttons triggering the digital voice announcement system for when the bus approaches the next stop and when turning a corner. :idea:
in beijing, the only door that is wheelchair accessible is the middle door... good luck working with that...

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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by tonyp »

Xplorer wrote: in beijing, the only door that is wheelchair accessible is the middle door... good luck working with that...
Image
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by Sydneyrail2014 »

I have submitted complaints through to several private companies in the metropolitan sydney area and 131500 staff have agreed with me stating that back doors should open on buses to help with dwell times. I have sent complaints to
- Transdev
- Punchbowl buses
- forest
- Busways
- busabout
- Interline
- hillsbus

I don't think I've missed out on any companies

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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by 1whoknows »

You have missed out the main offender in Sydney Buses - I was on the 555 on Saturday. Idiot driver unloaded a full bus at CQ by front door only. loaded up again then only opened the front door at the George Street stops - and gee they run late, whoda thunk it?

Just another example of why Sydney is the southern hemisphere's answer to Pyongyang.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by Sydneyrail2014 »

Sydney buses and transit systems policy is to open back doors, so I have sent them compliments for opening back doors for customers. But if it's not being opened on 555 city shuttle. You should complain so driver can be properly educated. Maybe his from a private company where they didn't open back doors or might have been mechanical issue with the bus

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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by tonyp »

The 555 is an example of a route where all-door loading could be introduced without further ado. (To catch up with Pyongyang I guess!)
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by Stu »

Before people become too carried away without knowing the facts... Some if not many if the 555 drivers do not open the centre door due to numerous people incorrectly entering in such large volumes, so even when passengers wish to exit the bus via the centre door, they can't due to 50 people from the footpath trying to board the bus through the cente (wrong) door. The lack of all door loading in Sydney has been discussed in this forum robustly (through education it can be done). My point is, the current rules state that there is to be no entry via the centre door (unless supervised) and until this rule and the unique circumstances of this route change, the 555 drivers aren't going to change their respective procedures in response avoiding a safety hazard.

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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by Stu »

Sydneyrail2014 wrote:I have submitted complaints through to several private companies in the metropolitan sydney area and 131500 staff have agreed with me stating that back doors should open on buses to help with dwell times. I have sent complaints to
- Transdev
- Punchbowl buses
- forest
- Busways
- busabout
- Interline
- hillsbus

I don't think I've missed out on any companies
Don't be naive to think that info line actually really care just because they agree with you, that is a part of their job. That won't give your complaint any extra clout. Ultimately it will be TfNSW that will have to send a directive to the bus operators in question and advise supervisory staff to remind drivers at each depot about this procedure.

Also, maybe you could send a complaint to TfNSW about people incorrectly boarding the 555 when the centre door is opened, this also affects dwell times and is (currently) a potential safety hazard, it would only be fair if you did so.

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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by tonyp »

Stu wrote:Before people become too carried away without knowing the facts... Some if not many if the 555 drivers do not open the centre door due to numerous people incorrectly entering in such large volumes, so even when passengers wish to exit the bus via the centre door, they can't due to 50 people from the footpath trying to board the bus through the cente (wrong) door. The lack of all door loading in Sydney has been discussed in this forum robustly (through education it can be done). My point is, the current rules state that there is to be no entry via the centre door (unless supervised) and until this rule and the unique circumstances of this route change, the 555 drivers aren't going to change their respective procedures in response avoiding a safety hazard.
The fact that a lot of people are trying to enter through the centre door indicates that it's natural for people to do this and it is State Transit that's trying to force an unnatural situation. One factor I suspect is that Sydney is an international tourist destination and a free city-circuit bus is one transport mode that would naturally attract tourists - who of course do what they do normally in other parts of the world. You have to bear in mind that entering a bus through the front door only is not actually a "normal" thing in an international context. As I think I've mentioned, I observe in Europe that the centre door is the most popular point of access.

I don't see the safety issue. I mean Sydney people are well known for trying to barge on trains before everybody gets off and the railways don't want to stop people getting on because of it. Passengers just have to learn to be more polite. I suspect with trams on the horizon, a change in these archaic rules should be soon on the way.

It makes me laugh sometimes to think that when I was a kid we boarded buses in Sydney through any door. It's only "one man" operation that brought on the present situation. Now that there is pre-payment and a new type of electronic "conductor" on board (a card reader, backed by RPOs) I think it's safe to revert to the norm.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by boxythingy »

You would not want to open the back door on a free or discounted fare service, considering how many people would want to scramble onto it. I am speaking from experience...
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by user13548 »

Centre or rear door boarding may be the standard practice in Eastern Europe. But I was sure that you must enter the front door in London and Paris. I wasn't sure, so did a google search for RATP bus photo and sure enough, there are "no entry" stickers on the centre and back doors.

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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by Daniel »

That's exactly right in the case of the 555. There are just too many people trying to cram aboard an already full standing service. At least through front entry only in this scenario the driver can regulate boardings. That's the safety issue tonyp.

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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by tonyp »

I can only observe that I haven't noticed that problem in Europe. If people can't get on they don't get on. The logical answer to that problem is more/bigger buses on the route.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by tonyp »

Airvan00 wrote:Centre or rear door boarding may be the standard practice in Eastern Europe. But I was sure that you must enter the front door in London and Paris. I wasn't sure, so did a google search for RATP bus photo and sure enough, there are "no entry" stickers on the centre and back doors.
Mr OC has done more bus coverage than me so he'll have to answer that one but as far as I've gone in Central Europe there are few places where door usage is restricted. I haven't been to Eastern Europe but I know the same would apply there.

UK is part of the Anglosphere (separate planet) and doesn't count in this debate :wink:
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by Mr OC Benz »

How is entering through the centre door a safety hazard? The driver shouldn't be closing the door if there is people or objects in the way anyway, regardless of whether what passengers are doing to get on the bus follows the correct procedure or not. Now that is just common sense. It's no different to trains or trams, take for example if this was the policy on trains, if you could only enter through Door X on the train, but passengers are trying to enter through Door Y which is only allowed for exit, the guard isn't going to close the doors on them, so why would it be any different on buses? tonyp is absolutely right.

And heck, if boarding a Sydney bus at the centre door with a thousand mirrors and cameras to look at is a safety hazard, I'd hate to see how these drivers handle Perth buses with one flimsy crappy interior mirror that can barely see beyond the centre door. We get the odd issue in Perth because of the confusion that arises between which door to use, since the CAT buses allow boarding through all doors, but all other services don't, and you'll quite often get people who are use to boarding the CAT's through the centre door try and enter a normal bus through the centre door, some drivers will have a hiss, others aren't bothered. Some of the CAT drivers at quiet bus stops only open the centre door for boarding/alighting anyway as it is also the preferred door for boarding and faster for passengers to get on and off! It is part of the bus specification requirements that the doors on the buses in Perth have to have the ability to allow boarding and alighting through ALL doors anyway. And to get things straight, the buses used on CAT services in Perth where passengers are able to board through the centre door are very little different to an STA Volgren bus, just that the centre door has to have a yellow safety plate fitted so that the door won't close if someone is standing on it. In fact if anything, there is less to support driver's visibility on the Perth buses, but it is just common sense to not shut someone's knob between the doors anyway and that is what internal and external mirrors are for!

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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by tonyp »

Perhaps some folk from TfNSW/STA ought to visit Perth. An overseas junket wouldn't be required.

Then some of these can be purchased for the 555:

Image

I think my flared nostrils are starting to get a whiff of the "it won't work in Sydney" syndrome :lol:

Unfortunately it's been taken down from Youtube, but I used to show a video on this forum of a crowd getting off and on a 3 door Karosa bus and the dwell was a mere 15 seconds, whoa to go. And that was a high floor bus. With 100% low aisle you can do even better.

That's what it's all about.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by simonl »

How would the driver enforce the 15 standees rule with centre door boarding? I think that might be the disease.

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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by Mr OC Benz »

tonyp wrote:
Airvan00 wrote:Centre or rear door boarding may be the standard practice in Eastern Europe. But I was sure that you must enter the front door in London and Paris. I wasn't sure, so did a google search for RATP bus photo and sure enough, there are "no entry" stickers on the centre and back doors.
Mr OC has done more bus coverage than me so he'll have to answer that one but as far as I've gone in Central Europe there are few places where door usage is restricted. I haven't been to Eastern Europe but I know the same would apply there.

UK is part of the Anglosphere (separate planet) and doesn't count in this debate :wink:
Yes please don't bring the UK or the USA into this discussion as they go against common sense.

Brief summary for standard boarding/alighting practise in major European cities. Not complete, only the places I've been to, or aware of. There are a lot more cities that have all door boarding (in Western Europe) that I haven't been to.

Front Door Boarding (Heavily regulated):
- London (with centre door preference for exiting). Excludes Routes 9, 11, 24, some 38s, 148, 348, 507 and 521. Possibly others also. Routes 9, 11, 24, 38, 148 & 348 have the New Bus for London operating which allow boarding from all 3 doors. 507 and 521 are operated by Citaros (and some new Electric buses) which allow boarding through both the front and centre doors.
- Lisbon and Porto (with exit through front door prohibited).
- Dubrovnik (Boarding through front door only - yes dwell times here are shocking! Barriers prevent exiting through front doors. You must exit through the centre or rear doors).
- Skopje (Front door boarding only on buses which are owner operated - the driver of the bus is the owner which is regarded as one company for that bus).
- Nice, Budapest, Prague etc (For suburban buses only).

Front Door Boarding (Lightly regulated with boarding through other doors "sometimes" acceptable):
- Paris (Rigid buses) (exit through front door discouraged).
- Nice (which uses 3 door rigids and 4 door artics on its inner-city routes, validators at front door, but some people will board through other doors, then walk to the front to validate, or simply fare evade - Only 1 euro fares, but people still fare evade. Pretty sure they gain most their lost revenue back by targeting hot spots and fining people on the spot (fine is about 40-50 euros, don't remember exactly).
- Berlin and some other German cities (exit through front door discouraged, when services experience excessive dwell at bus stops due to high loadings, boarding is allowed through centre door on the 3 door rigids, double deckers and artics, and some 2 door rigids.) There are additional validators on the 3 door buses located at the centre door for when this occurs.
- Hamburg (although some bus lines or bus types allow boarding through both the front and centre doors)
- Bucharest and Brasov (at least).

All Door Boarding (pre-purchase ticket, Smart card or board through front door to purchase ticket) Basically follows similar rules to the inner-city trams.
- Most Spanish cities (Inner city routes)
- Paris (articulated/high capacity buses with passenger controlled doors) and probably other French cities
- Prague (Inner-city routes)
- Budapest (Inner-city routes)
- Most Polish cities (Inner-city routes)
- Zagreb
- Tirana (Most buses in Albania have conductors who collect fares on board).
- Skopje (Only on red Ukrainian buses and the Double Deckers. Tickets can also be purchased from the driver)
- Sofia (Boarding through front door frowned upon unless you are buying a ticket from the driver - which is also frowned upon! Best get ya ticket before you get on the bus unless you want a grizzly bear getting angry behind his perspex cab).

Boarding through front and rear doors, exiting through centre doors (generally pre-purchase ticket before boarding):
- Most Italian cities (Validators generally located on the front and rear wheel arches).

General practise for longer suburban/interurban runs in most cities is controlled boarding through front door. Some buses are designed with a single leaf front door specifically for this reason. Most often these buses do not have ticket inspectors regulating the rules.

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