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Use of Back Door on Buses

Sydney / New South Wales Transport Discussion

Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby Frosty » Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:20 pm

Good luck with action with most of their rear doors being single leaf, the stepped rear doors of the CB 80 bendies and now Bustech VSTs why on earth did Action or TC order the Bustech VST wanted to copy STA and NSW or Bustech was simply cheaper. Maybe we get the Japanese style train pushers at major bus interchanges to move people down if you can't ask them you force them then.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby Swift » Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:37 pm

Frosty wrote:... and now Bustech VSTs why on earth did Action or TC order the Bustech VST wanted to copy STA and NSW or Bustech was simply cheaper.

You pretty much answered your own question there. STA set a precedent and now others are emulating that retrograde step instead of saying, no we don't want to follow that direction. Thanks a lot STA for leading by example as the biggest bus operator in the country.
I don't understand why so many on the board favour the STA Bustech Scania K280UB over the Customs version. Apart from that offensive centre exit step, the CC version is a lot quieter and smoother with a much neater interior.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby rogf24 » Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:42 pm

Mr OC Benz wrote:
rogf24 wrote:The third door on the single decker rigid looks like it's slanted like the Bustech from the centre door, why bother sometimes?

It's a bit of a step back from their "100% low floor" bus, they should have just added the third door in the front-centre.

Besides, I was in Singapore in late Feb (as an extended stop over back from Delhi) and everyone there boarded from the front door from what I saw.

The purpose of the trial is to actually encourage people to move further towards the back of the bus among other things. The additional third door and extra standing room provided will encourage this and thus provide a better distribution flow. While it may fit in more neatly, it wouldn't really serve that purpose putting the extra door between the two axles (note tonyp's comments on the Carbridge ones for example). As for the slanted floor and steps, there is not much that can be done until manufacturers move to provide a solution that negates the need for this compromised design. At least there are still two doors with a flat floor (compared to the Bustech).


If the goal was to achieve better passenger distribution, then surely combining 3 doors in the style of the Airport Carbridge and a low floor bus like Singapore's own 100% low floor bus would have done the job in a way that did not compromise with a slanted floor while suiting for RHD.

From the photos, especially the Reddit photo posted on the other day, passengers will generally step up to the high floor section if it's for seats but not for standing. But if the low floor was extended all the way to the back of the bus, better passenger distribution can be achieved anyway because standees would move all the way to the back without needing a slanted door. Now, this is won't be as good as a European-style 3 door low floor buses but I think it would be better than the current 3 door low entry Singapore bus.

I think, at the end of the day, considering that there are still stairs needed to access the high floor part and the high floor part is slanted, which is not comfortable for standees, it won't be as successful in achieving better passenger distribution as it could have been. It will definitely help though, the extra door at the back will mean people will be less hesitant to get up there in case crowding means they miss their stop and there is more room to stand.

Having said that, I still think it's a good thing that Singapore is innovating in buses in the RHD setup. That double decker bus would definitely be beneficial in Hong Kong. It's funny how Japan is not doing much here. The UK get brownie points for trying with the Borisbus. As for India....
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby Frosty » Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:06 pm

There is then Indonesia I've been looking its simply high floor buses and just have high level platform stops no bus engineering required there is the benefit of it being able to go through floodwater which Indonesia has that issue.

My only complaints over the Custom CB80 Scania is the flip up seats being 2x2 on each side, the stop buttons many have been broken off particularly at the back and the AC is XXX probably due the HispaCold AC being not as good as the Denso AC. Also the CB80 has two more seats than the Bustech.

After the Boris bus looks like they're just going back the old designs with slight modifications. Plagued with issues such as its too hot, the conductor cost, batteries, cost and it being more political then anything. London is now going down the environmental route for bus engineering which isn't a bad thing.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby tonyp » Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:14 pm

Frosty wrote: I guess another reason I guess the Scania N310UA wasn't chosen maybe it wasn't enough horsepower or Scania couldn't offer more hp. At least they went with Volgren for those 150 artics.

I recall Daniel told us that Volgren couldn't get up to speed for a contract so it went to CC. I have to say that after a few years sampling the current bodybuilder offerings and having ridden Volgrens extensively now in Wollongong and Perth, bearing in mind the standards I like to see in functionality, Volgren is the leading designer/bodybuilder of practical single deck citybuses in Australia. CC is a long way second and Bustech not even in the ballpark.

Swift wrote:Maybe Custom Coaches haven't developed a method to body a low floor, in which case the job should have gone to Volgren. At least they didn't get Bustech to do it. They would have probably made it high floor throughout. :roll:

CC has done a low floor on an Iveco chassis for Perth. I think that's their only order. Volgren has done a few low floors. Bustech has unwittingly done a low floor in its double decker. All it needs now is to drive it under a low bridge (without anyone on the top deck of course) for the penny to perhaps drop. The Gemilang deckers for Sydney are on a MAN low floor chassis but the brainwave of linking this notion to single decker buses hasn't yet hit TfNSW.

Did Chairman Mao say "a journey of a thousand miles begins with removal of a single step" or am I getting my campaigns mixed up? :lol:
Last edited by tonyp on Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby Swift » Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:37 pm

tonyp wrote: Bustech has unwittingly done a low floor in its double decker. All it needs now is to drive it under a low bridge (without anyone on the top deck of course) for the penny to perhaps drop.

The real world doesn't work like in the James Bond film Live and Let Die. A lot of structural weakening on the ex London RT had to be performed first!!
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby Mr OC Benz » Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:56 pm

rogf24 wrote:If the goal was to achieve better passenger distribution, then surely combining 3 doors in the style of the Airport Carbridge and a low floor bus like Singapore's own 100% low floor bus would have done the job in a way that did not compromise with a slanted floor while suiting for RHD.

That unfortunately isn't the case. There are still difficulties even with the low floor (although not as bad as LE) to get people to move towards the back because of the lack of exit points there and standing area (which apart from the aisle, is generally provided opposite the centre door). One operator even trialled removing some seats towards the back of the bus to provide more space and encourage people to stand further back. In Europe, some operators provide inward facing seats near the back as a means of making it easier to stand at the rear.

The idea of the third door and standing space opposite is supposed to help with spreading the load more evenly (along with reducing dwell time) since the problem is not so much the slope degree towards the rear, but rather the limited standing space and nearby exit door. Given the chassis limitations currently present, it is probably the best solution at the moment for Singapore's issues until a proper chassis is designed to accommodate a third door with no steps.

In recent years, Custom have built a low floor on the Irisbus Citelis chassis in Perth, the ADL Enviro350H Hybrid and the Scania N280UB (although this does have one step just after the rear axle) both in Adelaide, presumably to reduce the height to the rear seats (not that it is that high anyway!).
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby tonyp » Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:27 pm

For sure, the door behind the rear axle is what's ultimately going to get people to move right to the back. Basically people like to be near doors on high turnover services. However, as those Redditt posts make clear, people are seriously deterred from standing in a high floor area by ceiling height and other factors, so a stepless floor will at least encourage some to move down there. I've seen it so many times, standees stop at the steps as though they're the Great Wall of China and there'll often be a ridiculous tight plug of people around the centre door but none up the steps.

I grew up in an era when I had to go to the DGT in Phillip St to get a platform pass for those disgusting double deckers Sydney used to have because I couldn't fit upright into the saloon! They measured you on a wall and if you were over a certain height you got the pass and thus, fortuitously, a position close to the door (back platform) where you could chat to the connie. Ceiling heights in buses were discussed as a problem as far back as the Bruxner/Maddocks era in the 1930s when it was seen as one of the problems in encouraging people onto buses from the capacious trams. Nothing has changed in human nature.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby Stu » Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:38 pm

Swift wrote:Quite a big change in position for ACTION.
Making an announcement that the centre doors will now be used as standard for exiting seems a bit ludicrous to me
when it was just the done thing growing up in Sydney during the 1980s and early 90s.
Has ACTION (Jackson) always been this conservative with centre exit use, even stretching back to Dept of the Interior days?


It's almost as if April fools day arrived a little early.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby rogf24 » Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:51 pm

tonyp wrote:For sure, the door behind the rear axle is what's ultimately going to get people to move right to the back. Basically people like to be near doors on high turnover services. However, as those Redditt posts make clear, people are seriously deterred from standing in a high floor area by ceiling height and other factors, so a stepless floor will at least encourage some to move down there. I've seen it so many times, standees stop at the steps as though they're the Great Wall of China and there'll often be a ridiculous tight plug of people around the centre door but none up the steps.


So a low floor bus with no back door is more or less on the same page as a low entry bus with a back door although I think that the former has a slight advantage. Both attract people to the back and repel people away from the back although in different ways.

There's something claustrophobic about standing in the high floor section which I somehow couldn't explain in the earlier posts, maybe because I've never directly experienced it.

If there's one thing I could change about the Singapore bus now that it's built, it is to put more seats at the back and maybe remove some from the front or change it longitudinal seats so there's more standing room at the front.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby Daniel » Tue Mar 28, 2017 5:40 am

Don't worry Tonyp, you will able to ride a Bustech electric real low floor bus in Adelaide soon enough.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby tonyp » Tue Mar 28, 2017 6:15 am

rogf24 wrote:So a low floor bus with no back door is more or less on the same page as a low entry bus with a back door although I think that the former has a slight advantage. Both attract people to the back and repel people away from the back although in different ways.

I think the low floor at the rear removes the physical and psychological barrier to standing in the rear of the bus and will help move the crowd away from that centre door. Having a back door up there on a high floor is such a rare thing internationally it's not really known what its effect is - whether it actually encourages people to overcome their distaste for standing on the high floor or whether it simply gives people sitting up there an easier exit option, I don't know.

Here is such a bus in Poland, manufactured by SOR - why anybody would buy it when a low-floor equivalent is available I can't understand, perhaps it's cheaper:

Image

A key theme in the evolution of tram design (and in Europe, bus design which it influenced) is the elimination of "caves", that is dead-end areas in the vehicle where passengers have only one way in and out rather than the ability to flow through it. Sydney was a leader in this when it adapted the Australian drop-centre tram design in the 1930s into the R/R1 classes which differed from their interstate counterparts in having doors at the ends as well as in the centre. It was part of the Sydney philosophy of all-door entry on both buses and trams forever until the 1970s when they finally standardised on the passenger flow method that much of the rest of the world had been using until then - except that the 1970s was about when a lot of the rest of the world was changing to all-door entry! Doh :roll:

International tram design is now standardised on the spread of doors from end to end of the vehicle and thus rapid passenger exchange that Sydney had been using since the 19th century. We were once world-leading, not just an empty claim as TfNSW is wont to make.

I have an interesting file on my computer that somebody here sent me (but I can't upload it to attach here) which is Volgren's technical drawings for the B12BLEA as used in Sydney and Perth. It shows the standee area in hatching and it only extends along the low floor as far as the third door. The high floor is not marked as a standee area! So there's a bit of a subliminal clue there from a manufacturer that suggests they know there's a problem. These buses are normally rated at about 110 passengers but on this Volgren plan the figures are shown as 52 seated and 46 standing, which is 98 passengers. This is basically your European 12 metre low floor bus with three doors with a bonus 25 extra seats in an added-on dead end saloon up the back for longer distance riders. If clients won't buy a low floor chassis, this artic might be what you need as standard on the high-turnover inner city services.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby tonyp » Tue Mar 28, 2017 6:21 am

Daniel wrote:Don't worry Tonyp, you will able to ride a Bustech electric real low floor bus in Adelaide soon enough.

It's like Waiting for Godot, but I hope it's worth the wait and that it will rectify that one fundamental flaw in the Sydney Airport electrics.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby Swift » Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:54 am

That yellow thing is like something out of a Dali painting.
I'll have nightmares after seeing that!!
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby Mr OC Benz » Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:53 pm

tonyp wrote:Here is such a bus in Poland, manufactured by SOR - why anybody would buy it when a low-floor equivalent is available I can't understand, perhaps it's cheaper:

I rode a shorter three door version in Bratislava last year. Totally bizarre! For what it's worth, the 'raised floor' section only consisted of a small section at the rear (basically where the roofline is also raised). A very clumsy internal layout. Horrible ride quality too. I suspect its purpose is to be a lower cost alternative for quieter suburban routes - lighter and a simpler engine/gearbox placement compared with the heavy duty low floor version.

In the Scandinavian context, those with the step down third door appear to be on longer three-axle chassis. So there are several rows of seats between the centre door, over the two axles to the rear. For those using that rear door, it's basically like exiting a coach and given the nature of the longer runs, no wonder. But it's a lot easier for people at the rear to exit without having to fight their way through the aisle down to the centre door. But I have also seen them on standard 12m low-entry chassis being used in mostly city applications - probably cost related there.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby tonyp » Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:13 pm

Mr OC Benz wrote:. I suspect its purpose is to be a lower cost alternative for quieter suburban routes - lighter and a simpler engine/gearbox placement compared with the heavy duty low floor version.

You've got it in one. In both the bus and tram markets in Europe (particularly the further east you go), where city transport is run and funded by the city or town (not the state as it is here), some cities don't have the funds for the full bells and whistles models. This is very much a stripped-down, low-cost vehicle for such markets. Even the roofline would be explained by cutting back materials to cut costs. As many of these places start to get EU subsidies in more recent years, this type of vehicle is fading from the scene. We're not entirely in a position to complain about aesthetics here though, with those Custom and Bustech models with their awkward jerked-up window lines that make them look front-heavy. We're just as capable of hitting something with the ugly stick! How it does the job is more significant.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby neilrex » Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:38 am

That reddit story was ridiculous.

Some people were complaining about why people were exiting through the front door. Clearly, those people do not actually catch buses very often. And they have never been to the Western suburbs.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby tonyp » Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:59 am

neilrex wrote:That reddit story was ridiculous.

Some people were complaining about why people were exiting through the front door. Clearly, those people do not actually catch buses very often. And they have never been to the Western suburbs.

It's not really a story, just a set of blog posts. Let's face it, the concept of passenger flow (which replaced all-door loading on Sydney's buses) was never properly implemented as they continued to allow people to exit through the front door, so there was never a pure one-way flow. This is basically why passengers plug up down the front of the bus. The government buses eventually took to opening the centre door for exit (I think they refused to do that for rear doors as on the Worldmasters etc) and this relieved the pressure a bit. There was even an effort at one stage to fit the luggage racks at the centre of the bus so people wouldn't hang around their bags down the front.

All this collapsed when the low-entry buses came along because luggage racks returned to the front and wheelchair and easy access (mainly getting a pram on and off) was at the front door. In addition, as the Redditt comments show, the introduction of steps and high floor at the rear deterred standees from going up there, thus concentrating the scrum of standees in the mosh pit in the front half of the bus. Little wonder that people are reluctant to "move down the centre please".

The world of private buses (to which "western suburbs" basically refers) was even more of a nightmare as drivers wouldn't open any other door at all, or at best only open them selectively. On the Pavlov's dogs principle, if there's uncertainty, the crowds go with the option that's most likely to definitely happen - that the front door will open for certain, but the centre door may or may not. You can try yelling out "back door please" or just get carried on. No, better to stay down the front. Passenger flow is basically a failure around the world and operations everywhere are turning back to all-door passenger exchange. The transformation is total in trams (it was never otherwise in Sydney) and it's widespread in buses in many jurisdictions, particularly in Europe, and now spreading to USA.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby tonyp » Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:13 pm

I was amused to see this on the Brisbane buses website.

Image

I suspect it's supposed to hark back to a Leyland Panther but it unwittingly demonstrates "backward progress" in passenger exchange (while the rest of the world goes in the other direction)! You wouldn't want to accidentally walk into the pseudo half of the door on a dark night.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby Swift » Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:17 am

Are BT serious using that as their standard exit? The Leyland Panthers may have been hideous on the outside (all was forgiven after my first ride in one!), but they represented forward thinking when it came to interior and passenger amenity.
They were a major leap forward and were at the forefront compared to any other capital city's offerings. They even introduced automatic transmissions as standard before any one else.

What this wrap tells the world is "our buses had superior passenger flow in the 1960s!"
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby simonl » Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:48 am

All 2-axle BT buses have a single leaf centre door.

Serious? They think so. Laughable? Definitely, in many ways.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby tonyp » Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:46 pm

I've been spending the day riding the Gong Shuttle back and forth (filling in dead time, I wouldn't do it by choice!) in order to make extended observations, some relevant to this thread but I'll post in the 55A/C thread later. By then I will have calmed down enough to write in moderate language. Observing NSW bus operations definitely isn't good for the blood pressure. Another nice spell in Perth fortunately coming up to restore my serenity. 8)
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby tonyp » Wed Apr 12, 2017 6:40 am

I will make a comment here separately from the 55A/C thread and it's nothing that I haven't said before, but by now I've had a lot of observation of the operation of the Perth CATs (all-door loading) and the experience on the Gong Shuttle, by contrast, is like being further along the same time continuum from the 1970s when the efficiency of bus operation in the eastern states really fell apart.

In a way it's like a clinical laboratory test because the 55A/C suffers from no significant traffic issues and is a smooth run once it gets going, so one has an environment for observation untainted by other externalities. Where it falls apart and loses the timetable is 100% at the stops.

For a century, Sydney had the best crowd management on public transport in the world while others overseas dabbled with other methods of passenger management. Since then, around the world (particularly in Europe) many are now coming around to Sydney's former method while Sydney, at least on its buses, heads backwards. I well remember there was a brief "Indian summer" on Sydney buses in the 1960s as many of the former tram people were still involved but in the 1970s it all came crashing down.

Basically, the Australian bus industry has comprehensively f...d over the science of crowd management simply because, the industry being run by mechanics, it hasn't been their area of expertise. In WA they seem to have called on a wider pool of public transport expertise which is one reason why things are better there.

The worst thing (and I say this having briefly studied psychology earlier in my life) is that they've adversely affected public behaviour, now on an intergenerational basis that will take a lot of undoing. People have conditioned, Pavlovian responses to situations and this can become deeply seated. I observed it yesterday (identically to back in the 70s) with people plugging up near the front of the bus on the basis that they know intuitively that that door will always open. Yesterday I observed that if there was the slightest delay opening the centre door, people sitting or standing near that door would instantly rush down to the front door and collide with the crowd boarding. It's textbook Pavlov's Dogs stuff.

Even in Melbourne I've been told (and I've seen a couple of videos showing this), where there was a period back in the 70s or 80s when they tried passenger flow instead of all-door exchange on trams, there are still people who will rush to board a tram through the first door, despite an array of other doors presenting themselves to them (part of this may also be that those people are more familitar with buses). It's really a huge psychological damage that will now take a couple of generations to unpick. I'd rate it as pretty-much the second most damaging thing to happen to Australian public transport after getting rid of the trams.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby Tonymercury » Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:01 am

tonyp wrote:
The worst thing (and I say this having briefly studied psychology earlier in my life) is that they've adversely affected public behaviour, now on an intergenerational basis that will take a lot of undoing. People have conditioned, Pavlovian responses to situations and this can become deeply seated. I observed it yesterday (identically to back in the 70s) with people plugging up near the front of the bus on the basis that they know intuitively that that door will always open. Yesterday I observed that if there was the slightest delay opening the centre door, people sitting or standing near that door would instantly rush down to the front door and collide with the crowd boarding. It's textbook Pavlov's Dogs stuff.




Isn't there also some classic 'suppression of demand' hoping on with all off this as well?
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Postby tonyp » Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:22 pm

Tonymercury wrote:
Isn't there also some classic 'suppression of demand' hoping on with all off this as well?

How could you possibly think that our nice transport administrators would entertain such a thing? Anyway if you're going to do that, do it properly, like replace an entire tram system with a bus system. Fiddling with doors is just child's play. :roll:
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