Double decker trial for SA

By: Amie Hickland

Adelaide Metro teams with Scania to trial double deckers in South Australia

Double decker trial for SA
Scania double decker for Adelaide

Adelaide Metro will trial a double-decker bus later this year as the organisation aims to draw more people to using public transport.

Minister for Transport Services Chloe Fox says the bus will be put through the trial to decide whether or not to include the vehicle in the fleet.

"Adelaide will be only the second city in Australia to trial the new model," Fox says.

"Overseas experience has also found that double decker buses have been very successful in enticing people back to public transport."

The double-decker bus has 88 seats compared to the standard 47-seat bus and the 67-seat articulated bus.

 "Double deckers are expected to be a welcome addition to our fleet, providing increased capacity on some of the city’s most popular routes," says Fox.

The vehicle costs about $700,000 compared to $450,000 for a standard bus, but will only require one registration and insurance coverage.

Scania National Manager Trevor O’Brien says the bus will most likely be trialled on the Adelaide Hills routes, in conjunction with the new Mt Barker Park'n'Ride.

The Park'n'Ride will be open from January 27, and some routes have been altered to incorporate the new facility.

"They want more passengers on board, and they want them all sitting," says O’Brien.

"It lets everyone have a seat when they’re coming down the Adelaide Hills.

"They’re trying to get away from standing passengers."

O’Brien says representatives of Adelaide were present at the Australian Bus + Coach Show 2013 in Sydney last year, where Scania’s double decker Auckland Transport bus was on display which may have sparked the idea.

"Adelaide had been looking for something different and that was there and certainly fit the bill."

He says the bus will essentially be the same as the bus with a few alterations to meet local safety standards.

He expects the bus to be ready for trial mid-year.

The announcement of the double decker bus comes as the organisation has decided to lease 26 more buses.

As well as an expanded bus fleet, Adelaide Metro has updated timetables to include more morning services to make the most of the new Park’n’Ride facilities.

Fox says the decision to lease 26 new buses is part of an ongoing strategy to improve reliability for all commuters.

Increased O-Bahn services at Adelaide's newest Park'n'Rides at Tea Tree Plaza and Mt Barker route changes form a key part of Adelaide Metro's latest timetable changes.

"Cheaper fares alone are not enough to entice people to public transport," Fox says.

"We are also ensuring that we match affordability with greater reliability and more services when people need them most."

If the trial is successful, Adelaide Metro will begin contract negotiations to determine whether a local manufacturer is able to supply the new double decker to meet fleet standards.

Adelaide’s bus network supports about 80 per cent of public transport journeys.


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