Unitrans, the city of Davis and UC Davis public transportation system, will add two more modern double-decker buses to its fleet on Monday (April 1), boosting capacity on heavily traveled lines.
The new buses bring to four the number of modern double-deckers in the Unitrans fleet, which is also known for its vintage London double-deckers.
Unitrans debuted its first two modern double-deckers in 2009. Those two and the new models seat 80 people each, with room for a total of 120, compared with conventional buses that seat 40 and can carry a total of about 75.
Here’s what you can expect with four modern double-deckers on the road:
- The J Line (Anderson-Alvarado-North Sycamore, serving the Silo Terminal) and V Line (West Village) will see double-decker service more consistently.
- Double-decker service will be added to the G Line (Anderson-Alvarado-North Sycamore), serving the Memorial Union Terminal).
Flynn said Unitrans purchased its first two modern double-deckers from Indiana bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis, and went to the same company for the two new buses, priced at about $1 million each. Funding came from grants secured by the city of Davis, “exemplifying how the city and university work together to improve our community,” Flynn said.
Unitrans took delivery of the buses two months ago and, since then, has been training approximately 100 drivers (all of Unitrans’ drivers are UC Davis students) to operate the new buses.
Flynn said the new double-deckers have color-coded seats to denote reserved seating: red for the general public, blue for passengers with disabilities and senior citizens. In addition, the seats are vinyl-covered, easier to clean and more durable than the cloth seating in other Unitrans buses.
The new buses also feature the latest in three-point securement systems for wheelchairs and other mobility devices. The Q’Straint systems not only provide improved safety, but they are easier to hook up, thereby reducing the time needed to secure mobility devices.
Unitrans is also speeding up service with a new loading system for its double-deckers. Launched earlier this academic year, the system uses a yellow barrier — deployed by the driver or conductor — to limit access to the top deck when it is full or when ridership is low, and buses can save time by not having passengers going up and down the stairway, either when they are not likely to find a seat upstairs or when they can just as easily sit on the lower deck.