Double deckers join council fleet
For the first time, double decker buses are operating on Waikato Regional Council’s public bus network, and their extended capacity could benefit local commuters who travel to Hamilton for work or recreation.
The two buses — constructed for Go Bus by Designline, a Christchurch firm, arrived in Hamilton last month and have been getting decked out in new livery. They rolled out on the Orbiter bus route in Hamilton for the first time this month. It makes the option of using the Waipa bus to travel to Hamilton and linking to Hamilton’s network a more attractive option than driving.
Two more buses will join the BUSIT network — one each on the Raglan and Northern Connector routes — in May.
Waikato Regional Council worked with contracted bus operator Go Bus to introduce the double deckers to the fleet to create more capacity on some of the city’s most popular bus routes. Waikato regional councillor Russ Rimmington says this is an exciting solution for passengers trying to get on full buses in the morning and afternoon peaks.
“Each bus has 87 seats and the ability to carry 13 standing passengers on the bottom level,” he says.
“All up that’s 100 people and almost 20 more than our next biggest bus. In the city we now have a completely refurbished or new bus fleet. All buses are fully accessible and air conditioned, and the next step is free on board Wi-Fi on the Hamilton bus network soon.”
Go Bus commercial director Craig Worth says these are the first double deck city buses in the Go Bus fleet in New Zealand.
“Due to the height of the bus they’re a little different for our staff to drive, so there’s been some special training drivers have undertaken over the past few weeks to make sure they’re ready for today,” he says.
New double decker bus in service on Waikato Regional Council’s Orbiter route in Hamilton.