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STA Observations - October 2017

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STA Observations - October 2017

Postby Swift » Sun Oct 01, 2017 2:32 pm

Sitting near the stepped centre exit (and entry for some :wink: ) of a Bustech today, made me realise one positive. It discourages people from standing in the red no standing area where the doors swing inwards. This has been a problem for other low entry vehicles since day dot.
I watched a couple of elderly people use it and they seem to take it in their stride and had more noticeable drama on the final step to the kerb than the internal one.
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Re: STA Observations - October 2017

Postby Jurassic_Joke » Sun Oct 01, 2017 7:41 pm

But on the other hand - it looks "off" because then it looks vastly less like a City bus, and more like some Coach
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Re: STA Observations - October 2017

Postby Bovways » Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:13 am

Swift wrote:I watched a couple of elderly people use it and they seem to take it in their stride and had more noticeable drama on the final step to the kerb than the internal one.

I spent a large part of 2016 on medication which made me unsteady on my feet. I felt much more comfortable using this step when the bus was stopped that I did using the stairs to the rear part of the bus in other body designs while the bus was moving. For me, the ramped floor design is a good trade off for this reason.

C :)
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Re: STA Observations - October 2017

Postby Swift » Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:43 pm

Bovways wrote:
Swift wrote:I watched a couple of elderly people use it and they seem to take it in their stride and had more noticeable drama on the final step to the kerb than the internal one.

I spent a large part of 2016 on medication which made me unsteady on my feet. I felt much more comfortable using this step when the bus was stopped that I did using the stairs to the rear part of the bus in other body designs while the bus was moving. For me, the ramped floor design is a good trade off for this reason.

C :)

Yet Adelaide has chosen to omit this trade off. Windows are above eye level when seated. Maybe they need to reconsider. :wink:
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Re: STA Observations - October 2017

Postby Stonesourscotty » Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:07 pm

Ryde's 4831 on 311 on Tuesday evening
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Re: STA Observations - October 2017

Postby Frosty » Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:16 pm

4831 is now at Randwick as Randwick operates the 311 hence why 4831 was on that route. On another note saw 2108 Not In Service at Green Square heading to the City with an interesting desto very rare to see this bus other than along Anzac Pde.
https://imgur.com/a/6Whtd

I did see something bizzare saw a driver start a 301 shift inbound at Eastlakes 10 mins early. I never seen this before I’ve seen drivers start a couple mins early but 10 that’s something.
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Re: STA Observations - October 2017

Postby Swift » Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:05 pm

^I got caught out by that myself today waiting for a 396 to the Junction. There was a rubbish pile over the road that I wanted to quickly look at and my watch indicated 4 minutes till bus was due, so I crossed over and looked briefly and when I looked up there was my bus coming 3 mins early! I put my hand out as I crossed in front (it was a safe distance away) and to my dismay he was going to keep going when I had to signal him again as I reached the kerb and he had to make a sudden beeline to pick me up. It was a Volvo B1BLEA, a bus you don't see often on that run, so I was doubly glad to get it.
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Re: STA Observations - October 2017

Postby tonyp » Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:41 am

Swift wrote:Sitting near the stepped centre exit (and entry for some :wink: ) of a Bustech today, made me realise one positive. It discourages people from standing in the red no standing area where the doors swing inwards. This has been a problem for other low entry vehicles since day dot.

Not really. The way the doors retract to the sides means that you can stand right up against them if you wish. (Unless you're riding that Carbridge Gemilang with the hinged doors that work like a flyswatter on anyone standing near them, fortunately a one-off!)

Bovways wrote:I spent a large part of 2016 on medication which made me unsteady on my feet. I felt much more comfortable using this step when the bus was stopped that I did using the stairs to the rear part of the bus in other body designs while the bus was moving. For me, the ramped floor design is a good trade off for this reason.

C :)

Of course you can have both a stepless aisle and a stepless doorway if you order a proper low floor bus. Once the Australian bus industry's stubborn resistance to progress finally collapses.
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Re: STA Observations - October 2017

Postby boronia » Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:19 am

tonyp wrote:
Swift wrote:Sitting near the stepped centre exit (and entry for some :wink: ) of a Bustech today, made me realise one positive. It discourages people from standing in the red no standing area where the doors swing inwards. This has been a problem for other low entry vehicles since day dot.

Not really. The way the doors retract to the sides means that you can stand right up against them if you wish. (Unless you're riding that Carbridge Gemilang with the hinged doors that work like a flyswatter on anyone standing near them, fortunately a one-off!)


It is surprising the number of people who lean up against the bulkheads while standing in this area, mainly foreign student types. They get hit repeatedly by the opening doors, but it seems to take a while for the solution to sink in.
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Re: STA Observations - October 2017

Postby tonyp » Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:31 am

boronia wrote:It is surprising the number of people who lean up against the bulkheads while standing in this area, mainly foreign student types. They get hit repeatedly by the opening doors, but it seems to take a while for the solution to sink in.

Well leaning against the bulkheads is another matter, but maybe these people are thick-skinned and regard it as no more than being hit by a wet sock. If they stood against the bulkhead of that Carbridge Gemilang with the Malaysian doors they'd be 75% less thick (both physically and mentally) than they were before they got on the bus!
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Re: STA Observations - October 2017

Postby Stonesourscotty » Thu Oct 05, 2017 12:51 pm

4831 is still marked up as Ryde on the side of the bus even if its at Randwick.
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Re: STA Observations - October 2017

Postby Jurassic_Joke » Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:18 pm

Waverley operates the 311 as well, hence the significant number of Mercedes Gassies that can be found on the route during the daytime.
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Re: STA Observations - October 2017

Postby Swift » Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:46 pm

(Regards Bustech buses)
Jurassic_Joke wrote:But on the other hand - it looks "off" because then it looks vastly less like a City bus, and more like some Coach

I just caught 14.5m Scania 3419 on an X96 and that felt coach like in character. It ran pretty well too.
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Re: STA Observations - October 2017

Postby moa999 » Thu Oct 05, 2017 6:20 pm

I assume there is a pax number tradeoff in a given length of a fully low floor vehicle as much of the drive equipment needs to be moved to the rear.

Are govt requirements thus partially driving these half low floors
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Re: STA Observations - October 2017

Postby tonyp » Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:09 pm

moa999 wrote:I assume there is a pax number tradeoff in a given length of a fully low floor vehicle as much of the drive equipment needs to be moved to the rear.

Are govt requirements thus partially driving these half low floors

No there is no passenger capacity or seating trade off as the seats still go on top of the mechanicals. The mechanicals are just arranged differently so that a stepless aisle can be cut right through to the back.

None of the state standard bus specification requirements that I've seen preclude low floor. In fact every mainland state plus ACT has had low-floor buses running around at some time or the other. There's plenty of background discussion of the issues in the "back door" thread here.
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Re: STA Observations - October 2017

Postby Swift » Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:31 pm

^^ Speaking of fully low floor, I happened upon 2112ST at Maroubra Junction today. Haven't seen it in many months.
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Re: STA Observations - October 2017

Postby Bovways » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:57 am

moa999 wrote:I assume there is a pax number tradeoff in a given length of a fully low floor vehicle as much of the drive equipment needs to be moved to the rear.
Are govt requirements thus partially driving these half low floors


Fully flat floor to the rear means less seats. There's usually a tendency to try and provide more seats.

Also most of the few true fully low floor bus in the past that made it into service (late 90's / early 2000's off the top of my head) reportedly had difficulty with cramped mechanicals and Australian conditions (heat and poor roads).

So it's all been a matter of trade offs.
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Re: STA Observations - October 2017

Postby tonyp » Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:15 pm

Bovways wrote:
Fully flat floor to the rear means less seats. There's usually a tendency to try and provide more seats.

Also most of the few true fully low floor bus in the past that made it into service (late 90's / early 2000's off the top of my head) reportedly had difficulty with cramped mechanicals and Australian conditions (heat and poor roads).

So it's all been a matter of trade offs.

No, there's typically no reduction in the number of seats as these remain basically the same on a strip of high floor along each side of the bus and at the back row. The difference from the typical low-entry is that the aisle between them is dropped down in a stepless trench. This situation is unsustainable in busy operations (like STA) and can't continue:

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There are still low floors (including the bottom deck of double deckers) being ordered in Australia and also incidentally in Singapore and neither climate nor road conditions are an issue with them. It's just conservatism that's holding it back.
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Re: STA Observations - October 2017

Postby Stu » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:36 pm

Recently 1616 from V was operating an m30. This is simply due to the fact that N perform repairs for V buses and therefore it is common to see buses from V on loan to N. I've never seen a Volvo B12 Volgren bodied rigid bus operate an m30 before, certainly not a common occourance.
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Re: STA Observations - October 2017

Postby Swift » Sat Oct 07, 2017 12:14 am

It's a shame State Transit lost some of these often overlooked and unique buses in the fleet, to TSA.
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Re: STA Observations - October 2017

Postby Jurassic_Joke » Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:48 pm

Swift wrote:It's a shame State Transit lost some of these often overlooked and unique buses in the fleet, to TSA.


Well, you have Gladys Alpha-b-#*($7836 to thank for that as that was her doing back in her day was it not? For your actual point however, debatable; from what I know, all of what TSA has, theres more of that bus type in another State Transit depot?

State Transit in Newcastle lost some of those standard Volgren C2RR8l buses (whatever) e.g. for good to Keolis Downer/Newcastle Transport.

It wouldnt have been nice, for example, if the regions/depots containing the Metrobus prototypes were sold off to the private sector, that I wouldnt like.
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Re: STA Observations - October 2017

Postby Swift » Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:24 pm

2112ST. The best bus the STA has ever had and probably will have.
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Re: STA Observations - October 2017

Postby Stu » Sat Oct 07, 2017 11:23 pm

3824 looking fresh in v2 corporate livery.
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Re: STA Observations - October 2017

Postby Jurassic_Joke » Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:00 am

Swift wrote:2112ST. The best bus the STA has ever had and probably will have.


Ah yeah we could talk a little bit about that one. What exactly do you like about it? Its quite rare, but when I do see it, its typically on a weekday on M20

I think its called Scania N30 Volgren , something like that off the top of the head?The one that looks virtually identical to the usual Metrobus Volgren on the outside but the interior is a completely different story.

The standing-leaning pads at the front are excellent, absent on the normal Metrobus Volgren. And the front seat is much much more comfortable. Individual seats are better than bench. However, the doors are definitely not as wide on the other hand. Its engine sound is also a bit....mm. I don't know, not a fan.

I wonder what informed State Transit in deciding the Volvo Volgren should be the one ordered in large numbers of batches, because the Scania Volgren 2112 definitely does quite a few things better as mentioned
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Re: STA Observations - October 2017

Postby Swift » Sun Oct 08, 2017 2:44 pm

It's their sole Scania N310UA and I am speaking purely from a practical standpoint. It has low floor all the way to the back and it is what the STA originally planned to order for the 150 three door Metrobus/TNSW articulated buses but due to delays, they changed them to the Volvos with raised section from the rear axle. At least, being an artic allows plenty of low floor area in the Volvos and served by all three doors. The 5 cylinder Scania engine handles 18m of bus really well from my observations (and makes it fascinating in it's own way) and doesn't vibrate too badly at idle from memory. As you said, it isn't the most entertaining sounding unit to be sure.
One other thing that stood out about it (and is what helped me to spot it) was the relatively squat looking rear overhang, compared the Volvos. I attribute that to the transverse engine layout.
I'm personally happy thy ran with the B12BLEAs for the engine action up the back. Most of them sound fantastic as they take off but it is always fun to score the Scania for something novel.
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