BUS users are soon to experience a new and more efficient mode of transport as 12 new mid-sized single decker vehicles are expected to take to the roads.
This set – being bought at a total cost of about 1.5 million – will replace 12 buses of the Bus Vannin fleet which are due for retirement.
The first six to service rural routes have been bought and the other half dozen, which are to serve the Douglas routes, are on order 'in principle'.
Public pransport officials have specially selected these particular buses because of their operational efficiency, explaining that they are fuel efficient as they have cleaner emissions.
They will offer increased passenger comfort through reduced noise and vibration with the interiors having a decidedly 'big bus feel', said transport officials.
The buses have a wide entrance door that includes a manual wheelchair ramp as standard.
Community, Culture and Leisure Minister David Cretney MHK said: 'These vehicles will look good and will, I am sure, be appreciated by passengers. They will help to provide a better service whilst reducing costs so are ideal for public transport on the Isle of Man.'
Six 9.5m long buses, with 37 seats and a total capacity of 70, will be delivered by November 2010 for use on rural routes. If the second part of the deal goes ahead, six 10.8m long buses, with 41 seats, will follow in March 2011 for use on routes in Douglas.
The vehicles are being supplied by Wrightbus, a Northern Irish manufacturer. Wrightbus has named its stylish new midi design 'Streetlite' and claims that it 'delivers a new level of quality and innovation not previously seen in a vehicle of this size or type'.
Public Transport director Ian Longworth said: 'I first saw the Streetlite in development back in March this year and was hugely impressed by the overall concept. Following a thorough evaluation process, the new midi bus from Wrights came out on top.'
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
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At last, a fare better option. Let's hope they have now terminated any more stupid ideas involving "bendy" buses.
This is a total waste of money! There was a large number of brand new single deck buses purchased by the government in the late 1990's. Most of these have since been sold off as they were too small for peak times and use on school routes. Besides where has the new bus timetable got to?? Over a month ago it was to be announced in 2 weeks time. We will end up with nothing but problems with these small buses. The cost of running one of the new double deck buses compared to one of these things is negligble so how is it justified??! Will these buses be used on the park and ride roue from Braddan/Nobles as at the moment it is overcrowded in the morning!
THE PRESIDENT OF FOXDALE
I wonder if (certain grumpy) bus drivers will still occasionally refuse to let a woman with a pram on the bus? It's happened to my wife before!
Mr Cretney says - "They will help to provide a better service whilst reducing costs so are ideal for public transport on the Isle of Man.'" With respect they are not ideal when coming out of the taxpayers purse! For God's sake privatise the damned service and save the capital costs involved.... what is it these people don't understand?
Perhaps now that they have shorter buses there will be less near misses caused by the idiotic bus drivers nearly ripping the front end off cars stopped at halt signs. They really do not seem to have any concept of the turning circle requirements of the buses they drive at the moment - there would just be total carnage if they were let loose in even longer ones.
SCRATCHED & DENTED
I don't understand why people are unhappy about this. Busses, like everything else, need updating every so often.
IT Guy, you raise a great point can some of the many grumpy and reckless bus drivers go into retirement and be replaced also? I think that given the rise in fares then customer service should be increased and reviewed!! Many times have I got on a bus and actually worried if we are going to crash, in on indicent the bus hit a road sign and didnt stop! I ve gotten to the point now where I only thank a driver that is sensible and if they are really good I make sure I comment about it when I get off! In relation to prams, when talking about carbon emmissions it is better for more people to be getting the bus than driving in singular cars however the recent load of new buses bought have less disabled and pram spaces than the old old ones!
Once again IOM fails to keep up with the times. More small, eco-friendly transport needed for like likes of town trips and transport to and from Birch/Governors Hill Pulrose etc.
Gov had chance to purchase http://www.drivehomesafe.com/news/a_solution_of_transport_in_the_city_doubly_innovative-5.html But again more fuel guzzling busses are bought which will no doubt cost us more money and lead to even higher fares.
I don't know much about buses but thats not going to stop me sharing my wisdom! Bus Vannin needs to make sure the route with stops are clearly displayed on the buses so passengers who are not familiar with the route or the stops can tell when its time to get off or if the bus has already gone too far! On more than one occaision I have had to walk back on the route to where I should have got off because I had no idea about where the bus was when it was actually at my intended stop!
In this day of electronic signage this should not be difficult to achieve although that solution would not help the blind or the guide dogs that cannot read. Perhaps a recorded message could be played to tell us which stop the bus was approaching if the bus driver is getting fed up with shouting it over his shoulder. Also, can someone please set up an Android App (not an iphone app as I haven't got one of those) to let me know when a bus is x minutes away from my pickup stop so I don't have to learn the timetable or wait for ages at the bus stop?
Well, this is all very well and they look very nice, but how about using them for a good service such as putting a late bus on from each main town or using them to make the sunday bus sevice at least usable!!
CK since you damn near have to take a mortgage out if you use a taxi to get to out of Douglas areas, you would have thought the bus company would do that. Three buses to coincide with clubs shutting to the North, South and West of the island. As it stands now, it will cost you in excess of 25 to get to any of these destinations after midnight so why not charge a reasonable fare and utilise the bus service.
The proof of the pudding will be in the eating. Mr Cretney has said that 'they will help to provide a better service whilst reducing costs so are ideal for public transport on the Isle of Man'. Can he be more specific and accountable. What standards will be applied to measure the improvement in service? What are the cost reductions he is expecting to achieve? Will the capital cost of the buses be included in these cost savings - approximately 204,000 per annum if repaid over 10 years? This of course assumes that Mr Cretney like Mr Gawne, on behalf of the taxpayers who elected him, is going to adopt a 'commercial' approach to his commitments. That will be a breath of fresh air.
I am a bus driver and i get sick and fed up to the back teeth of people like 'scratched and dented' and 'it guy' coming out with comments as they have regarding people like myself. First of all 'it guy' says his wife was refused entry with her pram. This maybe because the driver was obeying the rules that state that either two prams or one pram and a wheelchair may be carried. I am sure this guy would be first to whinge if any thing happened to his child or wife if the bus had to carry out an emergency stop and they went flying because they were not seated!!!
Now then, scratched and dented, perhaps if more members of the public held off a little as the bus is turning into a junction then maybe the they wouldn`t have so many scrapes! Again, look at your highway code where it says give way to buses! Instead, half of Mr mercedes and mr subaru are to busy yakking on the phone and generally not watching what they are doing, or maybe little Mellissa in her citroen saxo with `R` plates on busy doing her lipstick then sticking her finger up when she nearly causes an accident. If people like the afore mentioned had ANY idea the crap we have to put up with from day to day from certain passengers and motorists then maybe they might back off a little. And while we are on this subject, why oh why are these people so gutless?
They complain but will not give their names!!!
GARTH FARAGHER, Port Erin.