June 17, 2019, 07:37:27 pm

New buses 2020-2023

Started by Barry Drive, January 17, 2019, 09:40:25 am

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Barry Drive

January 17, 2019, 09:40:25 am Last Edit: April 15, 2019, 12:48:16 pm by Barry Drive Reason: Title
As passed on to me by Bus 400, on the ACT Government Tenders website is an Advance Tender Notice:

"Procurement of 40 Buses"

Estimated advertising date, 30 June 2019. (Which may mean no further new buses until 2020.)

And yes, that is all it says. No information about delivery dates, bus lengths or motive power source.

Barry Drive

April 15, 2019, 12:47:47 pm #1 Last Edit: April 15, 2019, 02:18:41 pm by Barry Drive
A "request for expressions of interest" has now been posted onto the Tenders website.

The supporting documentation says:

Quote from: undefinedWe have a substantial preference for procuring zero emission buses if financial and operational outcomes are acceptable.

The REOI is basically asking bus suppliers to provide a price and availability list of all their models meeting "zero emission", "low emission" and "efficient diesel" buses (including estimated running costs). The REOI closes 16 May 2019.

From that, Transport Canberra will evaluate what is actually available and then issue a Request for Proposal to possibly a short list from the REOI.

The contracts should be issued by November 2019 with bus delivery "to be agreed", but not expected before Woden Depot is completed in early 2020.

The document also says that leasing of buses (other than zero emission buses) may be considered if zero emissions buses are not viable yet. It also says the outcome of the process may be a mix of vehicles including diesel; or all diesel buses if there are no "zero emissions" buses capable of meeting the requirements* at this time.


* The requirements include:
  • meets DDA and ADR
  • can operate for 13 hours and 400km without refuelling/recharging
  • can be fitted with bike rack and all equipment
  • heat/cool climate control
  • height limit of 3.6m or 4.4m for double deck

Busfanatic101

Ooh what are the chances of getting any double deckers should there be one that fits the requirements?
What would be the extent of routes that one would be unable to be used for due to height restrictions? Would it be more restricted in usage than STAGs? It's there an advantage that would favour artics over a double decker and vice versa?

ajw373

Why on earth would we NEED double deckers?

triumph

Was recently at an event attended by TC representatives.
It seems that a self contained electric bus order is largely dependent on confidence arising from the establishment in Australia of a suitable established industry/marketing setup.
Whilst some N America and European bus systems are already ordering/introducing self-contained electric vehicle fleets, the point was made that most (all?) of those current offerings are not airconditioned, so demand on the battery is considerably lower. Thus these vehicles' present technology may not be directly suitable for Australian service conditions and would need 'Australianising'. Hence the desire for an Australian industry/marketing being first established.

Sylvan Loves Buses

Quote from: ajw373 on April 15, 2019, 09:29:42 pmWhy on earth would we NEED double deckers?

Yeah, the steertags are bad enough as it is.

Busnerd

They could always order the Bustech electric vehicle.


Barry Drive

The Riot Act has now reported this. From the looks of the report, they have also gained access to the EOI documents.

QuoteOoh what are the chances of getting any double deckers should there be one that fits the requirements?

What would be the extent of routes that one would be unable to be used for due to height restrictions?

Would it be more restricted in usage than STAGs? It's there an advantage that would favour artics over a double decker and vice versa?
Chances are low, but not zero. Although I doubt any electric decker would meet the range requirement.

The main advantage of a decker over an artic is price - they are cheaper to buy and maintain. While there would be few height restrictions if they were to buy 4.3m (such as the Bustech CDi), a much bigger problem would be the low-flying trees which exist in much of Central Canberra in particular.

As for the Bustech ZDi, I only ever hear reports of it broken down. Also not sure whether it would meet the 13hrs operating range.

triumph

Quote from: Barry Drive on April 19, 2019, 01:27:59 pmThe main advantage of a decker over an artic is price - they are cheaper to buy and maintain. 

There are other subtle advantages compared with, say, bendy buses:
- The smaller 'footprint' is a benefit where depot and/or layover space is constrained;
- The shorter length is of benefit at congested stops, such as Westfield, Belconnen and City Interchange;
- Considering a road lane, 60kph, 5sec (recommended in wet weather) safety gap, then 5% more double deckers than bendies can be accommodated. Even better if seats are counted.
- Data I have seen suggests a double decker can seat about 54% than a bendy.

The major flies in the ointment of double deckers include:
- Dwell time at intermediate stops if lots of passengers are both getting on and getting off. This would not preclude use on local off- peak services where boardings are sparser. But the same problem exists for bendies (but not the modern tram);
- The steep and difficult stair to the top deck (experienced), the bendy contrast is the, at times, violent bucking of the rear section (also experienced to the point of mild whiplash injury);
- Crush load (standing) space limited.

No doubt there are other pros and cons.

Consequently, there is a modern tendency in Australia to use double deckers where there is a demand for seated express services between major nodes. Which leads back to the question, are they suited to the present Canberra network?

Question: Why are double deckers suited/used in inner London services? If it works there, why not here?

Stan butler

One major issue with double deckers is the storage sheds at both tuggers and belco.  They are not designed for double deckers - roof too low.  So if tc were to get double deckers, then they would need to build new storage sheds, at an extra cost, at one of the depots where space is already at a premium.   

Also the maintenance areas would have to be "rejigged" to cater for the double deckers. 

I cannot imagine them building new or tearing down existing sheds to build new ones.

Unless they put them all in a new depot - ie Woden.

Just one factor to think about that will incur an extra cost.

triumph

Quote from: triumph on April 28, 2019, 05:10:24 pm- Data I have seen suggests a double decker can seat about 54% than a bendy.


Just to be clear I meant to write .... 54% more than....
(Sorry about that, proof reading drives me balmy - see things too late.)

Busnerd

Quote from: Stan butler on April 28, 2019, 07:02:42 pmOne major issue with double deckers is the storage sheds at both tuggers and belco.  They are not designed for double deckers - roof too low.  So if tc were to get double deckers, then they would need to build new storage sheds, at an extra cost, at one of the depots where space is already at a premium. 

Also the maintenance areas would have to be "rejigged" to cater for the double deckers. 

I cannot imagine them building new or tearing down existing sheds to build new ones.

Unless they put them all in a new depot - ie Woden.

Just one factor to think about that will incur an extra cost.
Possibly true, however most don't realise that current Double Deckers in Australia, The Volgren, Bustech, Gemilang etc. aren't that much taller than a low floor gas bus for example, as the air con units are mounted at the rear in the deckers, having seen them side by side, they aren't that much higher. The main issue is making them restricted to certain routes which don't have low bridges or low trees, that would be the larger concern, especially in Canberra and makes them less flexible to operate, such as the 14.5 "STAGs" have the same issue.

I think the sensible option is to allocate the large vehicles to the rapid corridor routes and use the standard buses on the suburban runs. Canberra doesn't have that many issues with buses clogging up roads, they just need to make sure they design the bus stations properly, which they don't, to ensure there is adequate space. I think TC just needs to design the shifts properly so that those high capacity vehicles are running where they're needed and useful, not on some suburban run through Farrer or Richardson at 1:30pm on a Tuesday with three people on it whilst people are standing on the intertowns.

triumph

Quote from: triumph on April 15, 2019, 10:34:22 pmWas recently at an event attended by TC representatives.
It seems that a self contained electric bus order is largely dependent on confidence arising from the establishment in Australia of a suitable established industry/marketing setup.
Whilst some N America and European bus systems are already ordering/introducing self-contained electric vehicle fleets, the point was made that most (all?) of those current offerings are not airconditioned, so demand on the battery is considerably lower. Thus these vehicles' present technology may not be directly suitable for Australian service conditions and would need 'Australianising'. Hence the desire for an Australian industry/marketing being first established.

Electric buses (self contained) are coming closer. Volgren said yesterday they have a prototype on a BYD chassis almost complete and ready for a month's testing. It is expected to be available to the market in August. The prototype is said to have a range of 'over 250km' which would still appear to be well short of TC requirements. Volgren also have co-ordinated with other businesses to assist with ancilliary requirements such as charging facilities. So they are thinking holistically.

It might be anticipated that they are also looking into the possibilities of an offering meeting TC's needs.
 
Search Volgren in Google and go to their site for more info.


Barry Drive

Based on the Budget details released yesterday, the plan now seems to be 84 new buses between now and June 2023.

Quote from: Budget PapersThe Government will purchase 84 modern and fuel-efficient buses to improve accessibility and passenger comfort, increase reliability and lower maintenance costs on the new public transport network. The new buses will be added to the fleet on a rolling basis so that the ACT retains the flexibility to transition to emerging types of low-emissions vehicles if these become viable in the near future.

While exact details are not available, it looks like 12 buses between Jan and Jun 2020, then 12 every six months. Given the wording, electric buses are not yet viable, so the first 12 (at least) will have to be diesels. Also Woden Depot is now listed for completion by June 2020.

These 84 buses will need to replace the remaining 76 Renaults which have to be removed from service by December 2022. Which suggests no further fleet expansion until January 2023 and that no Renaults will return to service, except as replacements.

Barry Drive

It's also possible that once the Renaults are withdrawn, the Irisbuses will follow immediately afterwards.

It sounds like the plan is to have a series of contracts based on what may be available at the time. (For instance Scania's hybrid K320 may become available in a year.)

But the immediate question is: what will the next 12 buses be? Even though it is a new tender, ACTION do seem to stick with what they know.