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The right size bus for the job.

 
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thaitransit



Age: 36
Joined: 07 Dec 2008
Posts: 40
Location: Mahachai City

PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 11:37 am    Post subject: The right size bus for the job. Reply with quote

It is often noted that typical outer suburban bus routes in Melbourne suffer from poor loadings. This often results in buses that carry mostly "fresh air" making the bus service appear unsuccessful to non bus users.

On Typical outer suburban routes like 681/682. Would it make better sense to use smaller cheaper to operate aircon mini buses?

In addition to using smaller buses they could operate over shorter loop routes of a max 20 mins round trip and thus complete more round trips per day and making these feeder bus loops more viable in the longer term.

Here is a selection of very modern Aircon metro mini buses. These buses are all of Chinese origin and are powered by CNG.

1. Higer KLQ 6608C.



2. Dongfeng.



3. Shaanxi Automobile Group.



The point of this post is to get people thinking about whether operating a standard 12meter diesel bus on a route that rarely sees more than 10 people a trip is the best way of providing a viable mass transport service.
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JA




Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 30
Location: Brooklyn, NY

PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It depends on many factors, some of which you may not be privy to.

1) Are the suburban coaches interlined with big bus routes? If so, then the equipment will be geared to that route.

2) In the US, the insurance for a 16 passenger bus could be 80% of the insurance for a 47 passenger bus. In this case, it makes almost no sense to buy the smaller vehicle unless the fuel and acquisition savings are dramatic.

That being said, the public sector does not like scaling up and down unless it has to.
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thaitransit



Age: 36
Joined: 07 Dec 2008
Posts: 40
Location: Mahachai City

PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JA wrote:
It depends on many factors, some of which you may not be privy to.

1) Are the suburban coaches interlined with big bus routes? If so, then the equipment will be geared to that route.

2) In the US, the insurance for a 16 passenger bus could be 80% of the insurance for a 47 passenger bus. In this case, it makes almost no sense to buy the smaller vehicle unless the fuel and acquisition savings are dramatic.

That being said, the public sector does not like scaling up and down unless it has to.


In my city most of these mini buses operate part of the route on the main road before heading into small soi "small roads" However these smaller roads are often too narrow for the larger buses to turn around in or navigate the 90 degree junctions.

As to insurance up here the buses only pay for accident insurance that is identical to standard car insurance but allows for many different drivers.

The passengers are not insured in any way. A person can buy road accident insurance as a separate item of insurance like one would by medical insurance.

Over here there is an unwritten rule that basicly states you use the mass transport system at your own risk and that accident can occur and you are responsible for your medical costs.

These medical cost are "normally paid by the state anyhow" As for suing the bus company its normally not worth it due to the cost of litigation being so high and taking many years to get an outcome everyone appeals to the highest court.

Back to the main topic.

The use of mini buses over hear comes in 3 forms.

1. feeder bus routes operating on narrow roads.

2. Additional services on main road routes normally at a lower fare per trip than the big buses.

3. A higher standard of service on a main road route. i.e aircon mini bus running on a route that is mostly non aircon buses. thus at a higher fare.

These mini buses also cost far less to buy and run that the full size buses. as most are CNG powered nowdays. which is 4 to 5 times cheaper than diesel fuel.
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RailBus63
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Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 1063

PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JA wrote:
2) In the US, the insurance for a 16 passenger bus could be 80% of the insurance for a 47 passenger bus. In this case, it makes almost no sense to buy the smaller vehicle unless the fuel and acquisition savings are dramatic.


More importantly, most systems have labor agreements which pay the operator the same regardless if they are operating a cutaway, a 40-foot standard bus or a 60-foot articulated bus. Since labor expenses still account for roughly two-thirds of operating expense for a North American transit system, there is a strong disincentive against buying small buses.
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timecruncher



Age: 66
Joined: 23 Dec 2008
Posts: 456
Location: Louisville, Kentucky

PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Problem is, you simply don't have enough lawyers in your country.

We have plenty more than we need here, so let me see if we can send you some...

timecruncher
(thanx for posting the photos!)
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Rick




Joined: 08 May 2008
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here in Danbury, we use both full size and small buses in fixed route. The small buses are used at night and for rail feeder shuttles. They've worked fine in these roles.

As far as issues, the small buses don't have the service life of a big bus and components are not really heavy duty. Mileage is a bit better with the small buses but still not stellar.

Another issue with small buses is, well, they're small. If a route becomes successful you have to switch them out or add more vehicles.

In our case, driver rates for fixed route are the same regardless of the equipment used, so we don't see any difference in labor costs by vehicle.
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Dieseljim
Deceased



Joined: 26 Jun 2008
Posts: 548
Location: Perry, NY

PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 12:00 pm    Post subject: Wyoming County, NY Transit Service Reply with quote

Here in Wyoming County,NY, our transit service runs only the smaller buses, many of them Ford cutaways, since the service was set up to match the equipment with the expected demand on all four of the loop routes around the county plus in town routes in Perry and Arcade which are still dial a ride, while Warsaw, the county seat, has its in town bus service on a regular timetable schedule with regular bus stops at designated locations, just like a city operation and ridership on the system has been up greatly, especially in Warsaw where it is up so much that dial a ride in town became impractical for the growth in ridership demand. When planning a service, market research and equipment selection are just as important as laying out the routes and establishing the base of operations. It is these rural systems that a full size bus would never work on unless it was a high density run to and from the city, such as Rochester or Buffalo provided the bus runs at full seating capacity or near it. On intercity routes servicing rural areas, it seems to me that minicoaches equipped with air conditioning and a restroom,which is found on some of these buses, would work on intercity routes serving rural areas just as well as a full size bus would, if not better. Some routes fail because someone did NOT do their homework, and market research, equipment selection, and route planning are all part of that homework.
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