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Custom Bus Closes and its future

General Transport Discussion not specific to one state

Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby Centralian » Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:44 am

tonyp wrote: To the operator they're cattle and not too much attention needs to be paid to how they're accomodated and how they flow - in other words, the general efficient functionality of the bus as a mass transit vehicle. These issues affect efficient operation too, not to mention customer satisfaction. .


I certainly agree with your observations, vehicle write ups being one example of where passengers rate in the marketing of the product. I've heard an operator refer to 'self loading freight'.
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby Swift » Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:04 pm

And what it's this Australian fixation on keeping buses for 20 years? Even China chuck their buses out in as little as ten.
Look at a CNG gas Merc. It probably harbours more disease than an unflushed public toilet with a grogan staring you in the face, yet our precious middle classes are expected to wear those standards five days a week.
Maybe we need to go back to the small family operator who replaced their buses every five years and upheld vastly superior upkeep standards compared to the big boys we have to endure in the name of progress. What a joke.
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby burrumbus » Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:19 pm

25 years swift is what TFNSW expect the contract track buses to last,after being flogged to death by the large route operators.
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby Swift » Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:30 pm

Not to mention inordinate amounts of money in repairs and shockingly overpriced new components though this inflated vehicle life. The Euros have us sewn up.
Would be better off with cheaper Chinese imports that use third party component suppliers, disposed of sooner.
This is an unpalatable truth the industry doesn't want to hear.
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby boronia » Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:11 pm

Swift wrote:And what it's this Australian fixation on keeping buses for 20 years? Even China chuck their buses out in as little as ten.
Look at a CNG gas Merc. It probably harbours more disease than an unflushed public toilet with a grogan staring you in the face, yet our precious middle classes are expected to wear those standards five days a week.
Maybe we need to go back to the small family operator who replaced their buses every five years and upheld vastly superior upkeep standards compared to the big boys we have to endure in the name of progress. What a joke.

Yeah, all those private operators might have replaced their buses every five years, but a lot of them were 15-25 year old cast-offs from other operators to start with.
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby Swift » Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:28 pm

No Boronia, in some cases, brand spankers, albeit Bedford :roll: .
Why do we need buses that last twenty years which will go out of date in ten?
Isn't it better to update a cheaper built bus more often, as the aforementioned privates used to do?
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby Fleet Lists » Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:36 pm

I would have to agree with Boronia.The brand spankers tended to be rare.
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby Swift » Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:41 pm

It was more the exception than the rule, but it did happen, unlike now. And we wonder why people choose the car which is replaced with updated models far more often.
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby TA3001 » Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:53 pm

PoweredByCNG wrote:
I rode some brand new CB80 IIs in Sydney last October. They were spot on, even on Sydney's notoriously poor quality roads. No rattles, squeaks, creaks or anything that would detract from the overall passenger experience. No builder is perfect, but IMO, Custom Coaches had the best mix of aesthetics and practicality of the local products.


Well as I got up to alight from a V2 unit last night, the insanely loud 'jackpot themed' next stop tone was almost like an explosion in my ear after I pressed the stop button to alight (which was almost out of reach). It made me feel like my ears were being torn apart. In my opinion, they are the worst bus bodies I've ever seen in my life, and I'm so glad (in a way) that Adelaide won't be flooded with another 100 or more of these to replace the SL202s.

It's a shame that bus bodies of this standard are even allowed to be built and commissioned at these 'standards'.

Seriously, the CB62A, and the PMCA 160 are a much better example of a body, despite being more prototypical.

In response to tonyp's comment, I have noticed proof of this, with passengers preferring not to stand past the centre door on multiple occasions unless they are dwarves. The PMCA 160 can actually fit more passengers, despite being shorter with less seating.
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby Fleet Lists » Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:04 pm

Swift wrote:It was more the exception than the rule, but it did happen, unlike now. And we wonder why people choose the car which is replaced with updated models far more often.

Bass Hill Bus Service at one time in the eighties had not bought a new bus for 18 years. Their fleet was very old with buses they had bought new many years earlier or had bought second hand. And there are other examples like that.
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby Swift » Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:08 pm

Don't forget (William? :oops: ) Harris Park with their brand new 1980s buses that entered service in the 1990s for the sake of a tax rort.
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby boronia » Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:56 pm

Not forgotten. My first driving job in the late 1970s was with Moore's at Sutherland. A shed full of brand new Bedfords, but we were driving passengers around in clapped out SB5s, VKs and an abysmal Leyland TC. Progressed through a few other operators, but almost 10 years before I was able to get behind the wheel of a new coach, albeit a Coaster
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby krustyklo » Sat Mar 03, 2018 7:16 pm

And what it's this Australian fixation on keeping buses for 20 years? Even China chuck their buses out in as little as ten.
Look at a CNG gas Merc. It probably harbours more disease than an unflushed public toilet with a grogan staring you in the face, yet our precious middle classes are expected to wear those standards five days a week.
Maybe we need to go back to the small family operator who replaced their buses every five years and upheld vastly superior upkeep standards compared to the big boys we have to endure in the name of progress. What a joke.

Geez, makes me glad to live in Victoria! My everyday experience here as a passenger (no, I don't work in the industry) is that buses are relatively new overall and mainly fit for purpose, with odd quirks here and there.
Using some examples, my two main operators where I live are Dysons and Transdev, although I use Ventura buses every week (the 703) and the odd other operator once in a while (eg, I recently used Tullamarine Buslines 477 to go to work related training).
Dysons seem to constantly have new buses added to their fleet (often as a result of adding new services such as the 301, the Wollert network upgrades, and the Plenty Valley upgrades). My biggest gripe is some of the new buses have dreadfully hard seats, presumably to trial as vandal proof. Other than that their buses are clean, well laid out, and as I can't think of anything obviously negative clearly must be fit for purpose! Older low floor buses are put into their school bus fleet - recently I saw 294 with a school bus sticker over the destination. I was a bit surprised - my recollection of the bus was that it "wasn't that old" but looking at the fleet lists, it is a 2004 model. Older buses when well designed and looked after can be as indistinguishable as new buses.
Transdev ran some old buses in the peak frequently, but they seem to be rare now, presumably as a result of their new deliveries. To be fair, the Gemilang buses are reasonably well laid out and the seats are some of the most comfortable on any bus in Melbourne - especially the tip up seats which are well padded! Certainly the majority of the buses I use on Smartbus routes 901 and 902 are 8 years old or less and reasonably OK to travel in unless going long distances. Even things which annoy some (eg, the seats over the rear wheel arch) I am fine with (I find the wheel arch is about the right height as a footrest and raises my laptop to a good height for working on if I rest it on my bag).
Even other operators are OK - the Tullamarine bus was new and fine to ride in, and the Ventura buses seem to be getting older but are obviously well looked after and fit for purpose.

I guess the summary of what I am saying is that older buses can be OK if well looked after and well designed to start with (even the older Dysons buses look not that old), and in Melbourne at least there seems to be a tipping point around 12-15 years for most operators where older buses get relegated to peak only use, or school buses.
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby Swift » Sat Mar 03, 2018 7:51 pm

krustyklo wrote:
I guess the summary of what I am saying is that older buses can be OK if well looked after and well designed to start with (even the older Dysons buses look not that old), and in Melbourne at least there seems to be a tipping point around 12-15 years for most operators where older buses get relegated to peak only use, or school buses.

Not the case of STA Sydney's 1999 -2000 Merc 0405 CNGs on both counts. All the newer buses don't fare much better. Marked fixtures everywhere you look, damp patches on the cloth seats. Why do they insist on cloth seating, especially with the advent of A/C? How do you keep THEM half way sanitary on a public bus??? Busways have the sense to keep vinyl seating as standard and they have a good standard of cleanliness in general with their vehicles. What hope an impassive organisation like the STA with cloth trim???????
Public buses are virus ridden hovels on wheels!! At least you can wipe a toilet seat!!
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby boronia » Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:02 pm

Swift wrote:And what it's this Australian fixation on keeping buses for 20 years? .

(Probably many years ago) some government accountant types have "analysed" the costs of buying and maintaining buses and the residual value of selling them, and decided that 20 years gave the "optimal" return on investment.

Back in those days, governments used rather unconventional accounting standards, and I suspect that the concept has never been updated with changes in accounting policies.

In some Asian countries, older vehicles are heavily taxed, or age regulated, to ensure that modern standards are kept, and no doubt support the local motoring manufacturing industries. Vehicles have built in "redundancy" to back up this policy.
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby Tonymercury » Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:14 am

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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby Merc1107 » Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:32 am

Swift wrote:Why do we need buses that last twenty years which will go out of date in ten?

I'm not a big proponent on "New = Better."

Society is full of waste as it is. Households goods, durable goods and so on are so chock-full of technology that they can no longer be expected to last. Where I'm going with this, is that I feel society is being lulled into feeling they are doing the right by upgrading frequently and trashing what came before in the name of relatively insignificant energy and/or emissions savings.

To bring this full circle, what is the point of replacing a ten year old bus with something new when there is a huge supply chain and manufacturing process that undoubtedly causes great harm to the environment too?
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby tonyp » Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:27 pm

It should be noted that there has been an unusual level of vehicle turnover in the public transport sector (trams, trolleybuses and buses) around the world during the last couple of decades with the transition to low-floor accessibility. This has resulted in high-floor vehicles built as late as the 1990s (maybe into the 2000s) becoming prematurely redundant and disposed of. This should be settling down in coming years as fleets become fully populated with low-floor vehicles. Once everything is on a steady course again, I see no problem with buses being in frontline service for 20 years, subject to being well-maintained.

The growing use of electric buses (trolley or battery) will also see bus life being extended as these vehicles last much better than diesel buses.
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby boronia » Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:49 pm

Merc1107 wrote:
To bring this full circle, what is the point of replacing a ten year old bus with something new when there is a huge supply chain and manufacturing process that undoubtedly causes great harm to the environment too?


Because it is good for the economy, and that overrides environmental issues
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby Swift » Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:57 pm

Canberra had the right idea. 15 years and it's out the door. They broke tradition by holding onto some Mack PR 100.2s, despite low entry being the new standard.
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby Linto63 » Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:05 pm

Swift wrote:Canberra had the right idea. 15 years and it's out the door. They broke tradition by holding onto some Mack PR 100.2s, despite low entry being the new standard.
That was pretty much the policy of most of government operators, with buses the being sold after 10-15 years with many going on for a further 10 years or so of service. Now with Brisbane Transport possibly the exception, the governments operators tend to hang onto their purchases for their full lives, with relatively few having a second life, most going direct for scrap.

State Transit withdrew its first 1979/1980 built Mark 2 Mercedes O305s in about 1992, but following a change in policy it would be nearly 15 years before the last were withdrawn.
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby tonyp » Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:03 am

Is this the Thread of the Disappearing Posts? :?
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby Tonymercury » Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:46 am

Perhaps you don't have the correct handshake?
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby Daniel » Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:27 am

Yes. This is sensitive commercially and until posts have an appropriate and public source they will be removed.
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby Swift » Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:16 am

I hardly think what a bunch of tranport dorks say will cause a disturbance in the space time continuum.
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