Brand-new double-decker buses will be on the road in Richmond, Delta and Surrey as of October, TransLink has announced.
“Following a successful four-month pilot, the first of 32 double-deckers on order have arrived to expand the current fleet and replace aging highway coaches — providing a less crowded and more comfortable experience for customers,” TransLink states in an Aug. 14 release.
The transit authority says the first double-deckers will service the 301 Newton Exchange / Richmond-Brighouse station and the 620 Bridgeport / Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal. The 555 Lougheed Station / Carvolth Exchange route is to be added January 2020.
An order of 25 more double-deckers is scheduled to arrive by the fall 2020.
“The double-deckers are one way we are elevating the customer experience,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond in a release. “This addition to our fleet not only improves capacity on our busier long-haul routes, but also provides a unique experience to our customers.”
But before these buses roll onto city streets, one will be available for viewing at TransLink’s PNE exhibit.
“From August 17 to September 3, you can tour the exhibit which features a double-decker bus as well as an immersive Virtual Reality experience, a 3D animated model ‘MicroCity’ of Vancouver, and much more,” a TransLink release notes.
The addition of the double-decker buses to the fleet is made possible by contributions from the federal government through the Federal Gas Tax (contributing 90 per cent) and TransLink (contributing 10 per cent), according to a release.
François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, said the buses will help Metro Vancouver “meet immediate needs and provide convenient, accessible transportation options that will improve the quality of life for residents today and contribute to a greener future.”
“Modern efficient public transit infrastructure plays an important role in building strong sustainable communities,” Champagne added.
TransLink says the following features will be available on the double-decker buses:
- Almost double the seats of a highway coach
- Plug-in USB charging outlets
- Panoramic views from the upper deck
- A wide, well-lit staircase with handrails to maximize safety
- A screen allowing customers to see vacant seats before going upstairs
- Full accessibility with a low floor and boarding ramp