Friday, June 19, 2015

Four Things You Should Know About Our New Double Tall Buses

By Laurel McJannet

Back in May, The Herald had a post on their Street Smarts blog about Community Transit's order of 22 double decker buses to be delivered this summer. These buses will increase our fleet of Double Talls (as we affectionately call them) to a whopping 45 total this summer.

Guess what? Three of them have arrived and I was able to take some pictures and find out what new features these new buses will offer.

I know what you're thinking-- when will they be on the road? Will they be put on my route?

Before the buses can be put on the road, they will be inspected and cleaned, as well as outfitted with transit technology (GPS, ORCA and a farebox.) This process takes 3-4 weeks or longer depending on if we find something that needs to be fixed before they go into service. Once they are assigned to a route, we'll update this post.

In the meantime, we know inquiring minds want to know what's new with these buses, so here are some highlights.

Good Things Come in Small Packages. Here is a picture of a current and a new Double Tall -- an updated Enviro 500 from Alexander Dennis. The new one is on the bottom (you can see it hasn't been branded yet with "The Double Tall" decal on the front). At first glimpse, they appear the same, but the new Double Tall is six inches shorter in height, which is good because this means the buses can fit at places they previously could not.

The new Double Talls, with high-back reclining seats, will hold 80 passengers (49 upstairs and 31 downstairs OR 25 + two wheelchairs).
Pictures of current and new Double Tall Double Decker buses

New Bike Rack. The new Double Tall has a bike rack that holds 3 bikes! All new buses will have this bike rack and, eventually, all buses will follow suit and upgrade from their current 2-bike rack.

(Left) New Double Tall. (Right) Current Double Tall

The upper deck (pictured above) is largely unchanged. As you can see, there's slightly less room in the front row of the upper deck, but the unobstructed view remains the same. You're actually closer to the action!

Last but not least... a lower deck monitor! There is a monitor at the bottom of the staircase leading to the upper deck. Ever have those days where you race up the stairs to the upper deck, find it's full and have to make the climb back downstairs? Now, you'll be able to see if there are seats available on the upper deck before schlepping yourself and your bags up those stairs. Genius, I say!
So, there you have it. A sneak peek at our newest Double Talls. Is there anything else you'd like to see/know about them? Let us know in the comments.


  1. Have they fixed the climate control so it isn't always freezing in the upper deck?

    1. Good question! We just got the first buses in and that is one of the things we'll check out as part of our inspection process. It was a priority for us on this order to have a properly working HVAC.

  2. Love the monitor and the bike rack upgrade. Thanks!

  3. How's the cost per mile on these against the older ones and standard coaches? (empty bus, not $$/pax/mi)

  4. Any new Articulated Buses on the horizon to be acquired by Community Transit

  5. What routes are presently (June, 2015) and what routes will be served?

  6. are any of the double talls going to be used on the CT operated routes (412 in particular) or are they going to be given to the private contractor?