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So Why Have Double-Decker Buses? Whopper Watch

double decker

A double-decker bus from another land. Why are we trying these out?

After last week’s nasty snow storm that ground the Ottawa transportation system to a crawl, we discovered something about Ottawa’s reasonably new double-decker buses.

They don’t work as well as the giant articulated models.

The articulated buses hold more people than regular buses and they are easier to unload and load than double-deckers. No kidding. That’s the view of OC Transpo┬áhead honcho John Manconi.

At first blush, you wonder how you get people with disabilities, the elderly and mothers with carriages up on the second floor. Of course, you don’t. And walking down an aisle in a lurching regular bus can be a challenge. How about getting to the second floor on the double-deckers?

So why are we trying out double-deckers if they are less effective than we already have?

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  1. Ken Gray

    March 4, 2013 at 10:36 AM


    Both points you make are excellent.

    cheers and thx for the comment


  2. They’re used because they have more capacity per metre of length. If their use is restricted to routes where people tend to get on, stay on for a long time and get off without more people getting on (i.e. low turnover), then they can be useful. Those routes of course are express routes.

    The very fact we’re using double deckers at all shows how desperate the transit system has become to squeeze out every extra bit of capacity it can. Put simply, if we had started making a serious go at converting to rail a decade ago rather than wasting time and effort on coming up with a pointless replacement for the O-Train, we likely would never have acquired double deckers at all.

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