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Whatever happened to Dublin's Bendy Busses?

  • 15-01-2021 10:05am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 5,220 ✭✭✭ TheIrishGrover
    Registered User


    This may have been answered multiple times and if so, I apologize

    But whatever happened to Dublin's Bendy busses? Were they dropped because they were too expensive to maintain or too cumbersome for Dublin's streets?

    Because I remember them when they came out and they were being hailed as the next big thing but I always remember thinking how close the backs used to come to corners.

    Just curious.


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Comments

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Music Moderators, Politics Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 22,315 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Dravokivich
    Category Moderator


    From what I recall, the streets were too tight for the most part.


  • Registered User


    There are many bendibuses services passing through very narrow streets in the old part of the City in which I live. No doubledeckers whatsoever.
    I don't know the operational reasons for removal from service in Dublin but to say that these buses do not work in old Cities would not be true.


  • Registered Users Posts: 725 ✭✭✭ d51984
    Registered User


    It wasnt really anything to do with the buses themselfs, they were great people movers, especially in their final years on the 4.

    It was more so to do with the lack of planning, eg bus stops not been big enough and certain pinch points. Its a shame really, with the right planning these could of been a huge success.

    Regarding the buses themselfs, sadly mostly have been scrapped in the UK, only a handful survive with various operators.

    We had 20 altogether. All 2000 registered. AW 1-20.

    Its a disgrace Joe!



  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,677 ✭✭✭ strandroad


    There are many bendibuses services passing through very narrow streets in the old part of the City in which I live. No doubledeckers whatsoever.
    I don't know the operational reasons for removal from service in Dublin but to say that these buses do not work in old Cities would not be true.

    Agreed, apart from Berlin I think the continent is all bendy buses isn't it?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,181 ✭✭✭ dave 27
    Registered User


    This may have been answered multiple times and if so, I apologize

    But whatever happened to Dublin's Bendy busses? Were they dropped because they were too expensive to maintain or too cumbersome for Dublin's streets?

    Because I remember them when they came out and they were being hailed as the next big thing but I always remember thinking how close the backs used to come to corners.

    Just curious.

    They must have moved them to Limerick!

    https://farm1.static.flickr.com/886/27450498348_d72d00760a_b.jpg


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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,877 ✭✭✭✭ denartha
    Registered User


    dave 27 wrote: »
    They must have moved them to Limerick!

    <img alt="LIMERICK | Projects and Developments | Page 26 | SkyscraperCity" class="n3VNCb" src="https://farm1.static.flickr.com/886/27450498348_d72d00760a_b.jpg&quot; jsname="HiaYvf" jsaction="load:XAeZkd;" data-iml="17157.780000000002" style="width: 434px; height: 325.5px; margin: 0px;">

    27450498348_d72d00760a_b.jpg

    I've not been in the Golden Grill in years. I had manys a cheeseburger in there over the years.


  • Registered User


    I'm just thinking we might be reaching "peak" bendy and doubledecker bus.
    With hybrid and full BEV along with four wheel steering it will be possible to increase the passenger capacity in a single decker/non-articulated bus considerably. Obviously capacity won't go up to the capacity of a double decker but an additional 6 to 10 passengers per bus might be enough to reduce the need for these larger buses.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,220 ✭✭✭ TheIrishGrover
    Registered User


    Yeah, I assumed it was maybe related to some of the tighter inner-city streets. Would have been good for, say, commuter routes into the quays or something (Thinking of the 39A which goes from Ongar, through Blanchardstown Centre - Not village - and then it's a pretty straight run into the quays. Maybe terminate at Trinity). Didn't think of the stops. Yeah also makes sense. I'm sure Busconnect will bring aaaaaaalllll that back and solve everything :D.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,447 ✭✭✭✭ ArmaniJeanss
    Registered User




  • Registered Users Posts: 1,222 ✭✭✭ StreetLight
    Registered User


    They were all built by Wright's and were literally falling apart after only a few years in service. Explains why the current SG types are going the same way.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 571 ✭✭✭ noelfirl
    Registered User


    They were all built by Wright's and were literally falling apart after only a few years in service. Explains why the current SG types are going the same way.

    I do recall them being very rattly as well - perhaps more due to inappropriate route usage but I remember being on Xpressos going from UCD out along the N4 where it was a cacophony of clattermania as the back end bounced at high speed along the then not amazingly well surfaced bus lane.


  • Registered Users Posts: 284 ✭✭ PreCocious
    Registered User


    I often wonder was the bendy bus hsyteria a crossover from UK media ? The UK media used be running scare story after scare story.

    Luxembourg City has winding streets and yet they have plenty of bendy buses and a good number of double-bendy buses (or bi-articulated).


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,426 ✭✭✭✭ Losty Dublin
    Registered User


    They were all built by Wright's and were literally falling apart after only a few years in service. Explains why the current SG types are going the same way.

    One of the issues that may have led to this was that Dublin Bus hadn't got service lifts or pits that were long enough to fit them in. Not their fault mind; the class was ordered by the then Minister in charge, Mary O'Rourke, without consultation with the company as to such banal issues like maintaining them :eek:


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 2,770 ✭✭✭ GT89
    Banned


    They were all built by Wright's and were literally falling apart after only a few years in service. Explains why the current SG types are going the same way.

    The GTs and VGs aren't that bad though. The SG are more rattly because they are lightweight it's the same with the Enviro 400MMC over in the UK. I find the more recent SGs from 2018 upwards aren't as bad as the older ones particularly the 2014 and 2015 ones which are very rattly.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 2,770 ✭✭✭ GT89
    Banned


    strandroad wrote: »
    Agreed, apart from Berlin I think the continent is all bendy buses isn't it?

    There are plenty of articulated buses operating in Berlin in addition to double deckers.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,677 ✭✭✭ strandroad


    PreCocious wrote: »
    I often wonder was the bendy bus hsyteria a crossover from UK media ? The UK media used be running scare story after scare story.

    Luxembourg City has winding streets and yet they have plenty of bendy buses and a good number of double-bendy buses (or bi-articulated).

    Agreed. Here's hoping that double deckers might fall victim to Brexit too!
    If you experienced proper articulated bus transport it's hard to go back to double deckers: slow embarking and disembarking, not enough doors, not enough wheelchair/buggy/bike bays, people falling down the steps...


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 21,079 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk
    Moderator


    The original Bendy Buses in Dublin was almost a perfect example of how to NOT operate a bendy bus service. I don't know if it was simple inexperience or a very real attempt to sabotage them, but you really couldn't pick a worse way to introduce and operate such a service.

    - Single door, so horrible dwell times as everyone tried to squeeze through the one door.
    - Made by Wrights, which had no experience of making bendy buses.
    - No changes made to bus stops, roads, bus lanes, etc. to support them.

    No wonder they didn't work.

    There was a plan for BRT a few years ago prior to BusConnects that looked to fix all these issues and do it right. Basically it was to be operated like the Luas:
    - 3/4 doors, entry/exit through any door, off bus ticketing like the Luas
    - New, updated bus stops designed to actually take them
    - Upgrades to road infrastructure to support dedicated lanes, etc.

    Unfortunately it was scrapped and replaced with BusConnects, which in fairness has the advantage of covering far more of the city, so a benefit to more people. But a pity it was dropped.

    They actually went ahead with such a BRT system in Belfast with the Glider service and it has been a big success. It works just like Luas and they are now planning to expand it to other routes and parts of the city.

    Note they bought the buses from VanHool, an experienced European manufacturer of bendy buses, rather then Wrights a Northern Irish company, says a lot. But it proves that these sort of service can absolutely work here on the island of Ireland if designed and setup right.

    I hope we look at them again in future, plus Berlin style triple door, dual stairs tri-axle double deckers.


  • Moderators, Education Moderators Posts: 26,350 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Peregrine
    Moderator


    We also had single door boarding which negated one of its key advantages. Not only did they not speed up boarding, they took longer than double deck buses.

    We just didn't have the necessary stop infrastructure, ticketing or traffic priority for them.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,677 ✭✭✭ strandroad


    It's also remarkable how double deckers facilitate drug taking, antisocial behaviour etc happening upstairs or at the back. In bendy buses there is a lot more exposure with one level only and doors everywhere.


  • Registered Users Posts: 234 ✭✭ ax586
    Registered User


    The bendy buses where dual door not single


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  • Registered Users Posts: 725 ✭✭✭ d51984
    Registered User


    ax586 wrote: »
    The bendy buses where dual door not single

    He was talking about barding, this was done through one door.

    Its a disgrace Joe!



  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 2,770 ✭✭✭ GT89
    Banned


    The problem with bendybuses in Dublin was that they only had two doors one at the dront and one at the back and the one at the back was rarely used by drivers. Also everyone had to board at the front doors and pay at the driver generally articulated buses work best using prepaid tickets only in fact the same can be said about all bus types.

    The other thing was that stops weren't build long enough in order to facilitate the bendybuses meaning the driver couldn't open the rear door also the poor design and lack of rear door usage meant people wouldn't utilise the bus to the full extent.

    The other that is not mentioned is that the number one cost of providing public transpirt is labour and larger capacity articulated vehicles are a lot more cost effective than smaller vehicles. Articulated buses mean one driver getting paid the same amount of money to carry more passengers than driving a smaller bus that can carry less passengers.

    Generally the highest capacity vehicles should always be preferable to lower capacity vehicles. This is why I think the NTA are making a mistake by buying single decker midibuses buses and not replacing the Dublin Bus VT class.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 2,770 ✭✭✭ GT89
    Banned


    Another interesting thing is that many standard length single decker buses used on the continent can carry the same amount of passengers as a double decker bus in Ireland or the UK. Single decker buses sold in the UK and Ireland like the Streetlite and Enviro 200 are generally designed to be lightweight and designed for routes with lower usage.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,810 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011
    Moderator


    That higher capacity on a larger single decker comes from more standing, which with our route length would not be popular

    Whether running city buses to the outer reaches is sensible is an important question here


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 21,079 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk
    Moderator


    GT89 wrote: »
    Another interesting thing is that many standard length single decker buses used on the continent can carry the same amount of passengers as a double decker bus in Ireland or the UK. Single decker buses sold in the UK and Ireland like the Streetlite and Enviro 200 are generally designed to be lightweight and designed for routes with lower usage.

    Partly this is due to single deckers in the continent typically having less seats and more standing space. The single decker BE buses in Cork have surprisingly lots of seats and very little standing space compared to what you see in Europe.

    But it comes down to a completely different operating environment. Buses in Europe tend to be fast, very quick dwell times with 3/4 doors and zero driver interaction ticketing like the Luas, they also tend to stick to main roads and not journey into every estate along the way, plus proper bus priority measures. All of this adds up to faster journey times, so people don't really mind standing.

    Here, at least until recently, people expect journey times to be slow. Very slow dwell time, one or two door operation, slow ticketing via the driver, too many bus stops and too many diversions off into windy estates, too little bus priority measures, all leads to slow, long journey times, so people prefer to have a seat.

    Personally I'd be happy standing if it meant we got all the other features of the European model and much faster journey times.
    GT89 wrote: »
    Generally the highest capacity vehicles should always be preferable to lower capacity vehicles. This is why I think the NTA are making a mistake by buying single decker midibuses buses and not replacing the Dublin Bus VT class.

    In fairness to the NTA, I believe they pushed BE in Cork to start using double deckers in Cork which has been a major relief.

    They also seem to have no issues with DB being all double decker fleet except two buses. GAI is a bit different as they operate some fairly extremely low demand outer routes. No point using a double decker if you never fill a single decker. Even DB had about 100 single deckers prior to Network Direct consolidations, GAI's single deckers is really partly a return of those routes.

    The 0 route, will need to be single decker operated too due to passing under low bridges.

    VT's fair enough, but the issue there always seems to be that the tri-axles available seem to lag behind in the drive train technology. Assuming because they are relatively niche product in the UK/Ireland. Hopefully that changes in time, it would be great to get some Berlin style tri-axles.

    Though I wonder would trying Glider/Luas/BRT style "bendy-buses" with proper infrastructure and support be a better bet for the VT operated routes?


  • Registered Users Posts: 284 ✭✭ PreCocious
    Registered User


    strandroad wrote: »
    Agreed. Here's hoping that double deckers might fall victim to Brexit too!
    If you experienced proper articulated bus transport it's hard to go back to double deckers: slow embarking and disembarking, not enough doors, not enough wheelchair/buggy/bike bays, people falling down the steps...

    I dunno. Here in Cork the upstairs on the 202 is a great way of seeing into the €4.5m mansions on the Blackrock Road.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 2,770 ✭✭✭ GT89
    Banned


    bk wrote: »
    Partly this is due to single deckers in the continent typically having less seats and more standing space. The single decker BE buses in Cork have surprisingly lots of seats and very little standing space compared to what you see in Europe.

    But it comes down to a completely different operating environment. Buses in Europe tend to be fast, very quick dwell times with 3/4 doors and zero driver interaction ticketing like the Luas, they also tend to stick to main roads and not journey into every estate along the way, plus proper bus priority measures. All of this adds up to faster journey times, so people don't really mind standing.

    Here, at least until recently, people expect journey times to be slow. Very slow dwell time, one or two door operation, slow ticketing via the driver, too many bus stops and too many diversions off into windy estates, too little bus priority measures, all leads to slow, long journey times, so people prefer to have a seat.

    Personally I'd be happy standing if it meant we got all the other features of the European model and much faster journey times.

    The Citaros used in Cork are a different spec to the ones used on the continent. The Citaro is the best selling bus in Europe and has been for quite some time. However the recent Citaros have been made to a different lighter weight spec specifically for the UK and Ireland market.

    The other thing is worth pointing is people are happy to stand on the Luas but less so on the bus however this is changing the SGs can take up to 30 standees but have a lot less seating than previous single door models.

    The other thing on the continent areas with lower demand are still not by main routes but generally shorter routes that connect with other busier bus routes or other modes such as suburban rail, metro or trams. This is where smaller buses may sometimes be used. Generally on the continent low usage routes where in the UK or Ireland would be served by a single decker instead of a double decker these routes may use a lower capacity shorter wheelbase single decker.

    I've even seen some places on the continent where converted Sprinter vans have been used as buses on fixed route public transport.
    In fairness to the NTA, I believe they pushed BE in Cork to start using double deckers in Cork which has been a major relief.

    They also seem to have no issues with DB being all double decker fleet except two buses. GAI is a bit different as they operate some fairly extremely low demand outer routes. No point using a double decker if you never fill a single decker. Even DB had about 100 single deckers prior to Network Direct consolidations, GAI's single deckers is really partly a return of those routes.

    The 0 route, will need to be single decker operated too due to passing under low bridges.

    VT's fair enough, but the issue there always seems to be that the tri-axles available seem to lag behind in the drive train technology. Assuming because they are relatively niche product in the UK/Ireland. Hopefully that changes in time, it would be great to get some Berlin style tri-axles.

    Though I wonder would trying Glider/Luas/BRT style "bendy-buses" with proper infrastructure and support be a better bet for the VT operated routes?

    The single deckers used by GAI have run into some problems I believe some of the routes there have issues where they were too small for some of the routes they were allocated to for example the 102 I believe has had issues particulalry around school times.

    The other issue with lower capacity buses is they have a lack of flexibility. Many of the routes GAI operate are interworked with other routes this is typical of low frequency low demand routes where they are typically worked by the same driver(s) and bus as other busier routes. Again I would like to point out that the main cost of providing public transport in developed countries is staff not fuel. This means there is little in terms of cost difference between providing a small bus and large bus.

    This why in developing countries with cheap labour costs you'll see loads of minvans being used as an ad hoc means of public transport instead having large buses operating on a fixed route. Typically the driver will be self employed in these countries and own his/her own vehicle.


  • Registered Users Posts: 234 ✭✭ ax586
    Registered User


    d51984 wrote: »
    He was talking about barding, this was done through one door.

    Oops


  • Registered Users Posts: 725 ✭✭✭ d51984
    Registered User


    I ment boarding lol

    Its a disgrace Joe!



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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,094 ✭✭✭ .anon.


    bk wrote: »
    GAI is a bit different as they operate some fairly extremely low demand outer routes. No point using a double decker if you never fill a single decker.

    It's baffling that their most low-demand route (the 59, from Dún Laoghaire to Killiney, via Dalkey) requires double-deckers because it didn't occur to anyone in the NTA to purchase even one single-decker that could safely negotiate this roundabout in Killiney village.


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