Sunday, May 3, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Double-decker buses have a rich history in Davis

By
From page C4 | February 8, 2012 |

Special to The Enterprise

Unitrans will forever be known for the London doubledeckers that the Associated Students of UC Davis purchased and brought here from London in 1968 to start a bus system.

Over the years, Unitrans added 10 more of the vintage doubledeckers — along with dozens of modern, single-deck buses to carry an ever-increasing number of passengers on a system in which the city of Davis is now a partner.

And while a few of the London doubledeckers are still in service, this year Unitrans purchased two brand-new doubledeckers — shiny, sleek and modern in every way, with wheelchair access and air-conditioning. These amenities were not available on the old buses.

The new buses, each costing $813,000, including tax, went into service in the spring, and are due back in the fall when classes resume.

“Riders love the comfort of the new buses and the large windows,” said Anthony Palmere, assistant general manager of Unitrans. “They are also much easier to drive.”

For one thing, they are left-hand drive, compared with the right-hand drive (British-style) in the vintage buses.

The new buses are slightly shorter in height (14 feet), but they are wider and longer (81/2 feet by 40 feet), the same as a single-deck bus.

Each doubledecker has 81 seats (double the number on a single-deck bus), with standing room for 20 more people.

The vintage buses carry 64 people. When exiting from the front or rear, passengers step off into the street — remember, these buses are from England, where people drive on the other side of the road.

As a safety precaution, a conductor rides at the back of each vintage doubledecker and acts as a flagger when people are exiting the bus into the street.

The new doubledeckers have curbside exits at the front and rear. Nevertheless, Unitrans is putting a conductor on each of the new buses.

“The conductor is there for consistency in scheduling our staff — since a vintage bus could be substituted at the last minute — and to allow for faster boarding through both the front and rear doors,” Palmere said.

As much as people may like the comfort of the new buses, and even with their improved drivability and safety, Palmere said, “They do not have the friendly and iconic look of the vintage buses.”

The Unitrans doubledeckers are Regent models, which became available when London started switching to Routemasters in the 1960s. By 2005, London had replaced all of its Routemasters with modern doubledeckers, Palmere said. “But people missed the old buses, and they were eventually brought back to run on Heritage Routes.”

There is no need for heritage routes in Davis, as you will still see the old buses when school is in session, primarily on these two high-volume lines:

* E-line: downtown, F and J streets; and

* F-line: Oak Avenue, Alvarado Avenue (east) and Catalina Drive.

The new doubledeckers run on these high-volume routes:

* B-line: Wake Forest Drive, Sycamore Lane and Drake Drive; and

* G-line: Anderson Road, Alvarado Avenue (west) and Sycamore Lane (north)

The 2010 doubledeckers are Enviro500 models from Alexander Dennis Ltd. in the United Kingdom, with final assembly in Riverside. They run on clean diesel, because there is no room for compressed natural gas tanks on top of the buses or under the buses.

Palmere said Unitrans plans to keep its 1948, 1952 and 1954 doubledeckers in service; two of these run on clean diesel, the other on compressed natural gas.

He credited career and student mechanics with keeping the buses in regular service for more than 40 years — twice as long as they ran in London.

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Breaking barriers: For Prieto, it’s all about hard work

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Council to hear about drought pricing

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

     
    For the record

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    Peaceful Baltimore demonstrators praise top prosecutor

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Nigeria: Nearly 300 freed women, children led to safety

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Graveyard thefts land three Woodlanders behind bars

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3

    Downtown altercation leads to injuries

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

     
    Woman arrested for brandishing knife on overpass

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

    Yolo DA launches monthly newsletter

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Can plants talk? UCD prof will answer that question

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    A Scottish setting for local author’s next book

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Indoor Fun Fly comes to Woodland

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Free beginner yoga class offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Video discusses surveillance of prostate cancer

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    NAMI support group meets May 10

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Dr. G featured on the radio

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Fee proposed on rail cars that haul oil, other flammables

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Internships move UCD doctoral students beyond academia

    By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Make Mom a warm vanilla sugar scrub

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

     
    The secret to Mother’s Day gifting success: Give time, not stuff

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Letter book is series of collected missives thanking Mom

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    If your mom fancies something fancy, consider a tea party

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    Out of Africa and back to Davis: James Carey will give special presentation

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    Big Day of Giving makes philanthropy easy

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    Tuleyome Tales: How are a snake and a mushroom alike?

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

     
    Tuleyome hosts Snow Mountain camping trip

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

    .

    Forum

    Please help Baltimore

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

     
    End of life doesn’t mean life must end

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4 | Gallery

    Advancing education for California’s former foster youths

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

     
    With sincere gratitude

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    A wonderful day of service

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

     
    Eyewitness to the ‘fall’ of Vietnam: It was not a bloodbath

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5 | Gallery

    He can’t give it up

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B6

     
     
    Dangers from prescription pills

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B6

    .

    Sports

     
    Defending champ DHS clinches a baseball playoff berth

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    UCD softball splits with Titans

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Trifecta of Devil teams open playoffs Tuesday

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Sports briefs: DHS boys win to reach lacrosse playoffs

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Making memories at Aggie Stadium

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    Pro baseball roundup: Hudson pitches Giants past Angels

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

     
    UCD roundup: Aggie women speed past Hornets

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Marrone opens new greenhouse

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    New firm helps students on path to college

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A8

     
    Yolo County real estate sales

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A8

    Arcadia partners on soybean trait to improve yield

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, May 3, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8