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rmcconnell

DesignLine #1302: a critique.

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(I would have posted this in one of the existing DesignLine threads, but those seemed to lean toward photos only...)

 

I had the chance to ride DesignLine #1302 today on the M42, from 42nd Street Pier to 8th Avenue, and here's my critique:

 

-Overall, this is an excellent vehicle. The bus rode very smoothly (compared to the Orion VII NG HEVs) and the motor was extremely quiet. Not to mention that it looks great from the outside.

 

-There were a few too many recorded announcements for my liking. There seemed to be an automatically-triggered "Please move away from the doors" message whenever someone got too close to the rear door. There was another "Doors closing" message, played whenever the rear doors closed, that seemed rather useless. And, for whatever reason, there was no stop request chime or recorded message at all.

 

-The touch-sensitive rear doors seemed a bit complicated for regular users to figure out. I would support installing touch bars similar to those on the MTA's newest Orion VII NG HEVs.

 

-The windows in the low floor section are a bit high up for seated passengers to see out of, but then again, most low-floor buses have this problem.

 

-The high floor section is a bit higher up than it is on the Orion VII NG HEVs, and it definitely doesn't encourage standees to stand up there. This caused a bit of overcrowding in the front of the bus and in the space near the rear doors.

 

Photos to come later.

 

RM

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I had the chance to ride DesignLine #1302 today on the M42, from 42nd Street Pier to 8th Avenue, and here's my critique:

 

-Overall, this is an excellent vehicle. The bus rode very smoothly (compared to the Orion VII NG HEVs) and the motor was extremely quiet. Not to mention that it looks great from the outside.

 

Looks great...but it will sneak up on you. A picture of it is currently my desktop.

 

-There were a few too many recorded announcements for my liking. There seemed to be an automatically-triggered "Please move away from the doors" message whenever someone got too close to the rear door. There was another "Doors closing" message, played whenever the rear doors closed, that seemed rather useless. And, for whatever reason, there was no stop request chime or recorded message at all.

 

-The touch-sensitive rear doors seemed a bit complicated for regular users to figure out. I would support installing touch bars similar to those on the MTA's newest Orion VII NG HEVs.

 

The first MTA vehicle with that was bus 1700 at LIB, and this is now standard fare for all new transit bus orders for the MTA (LIB, NYCT, MTA Bus). The specs of yesteryear are just that. But I like that you only need to get within the vicinity of the yellow strip to get the door to open.

 

But be glad that this bus doesn't have the prerecorded announcements that used to play on the O7 NG hybrids (they have since been disabled---except for 3800-3829 on 34th St Crosstown services).

 

-The windows in the low floor section are a bit high up for seated passengers to see out of, but then again, most low-floor buses have this problem.

 

-The high floor section is a bit higher up than it is on the Orion VII NG HEVs, and it definitely doesn't encourage standees to stand up there. This caused a bit of overcrowding in the front of the bus and in the space near the rear doors.

 

Photos to come later.

 

RM

 

 

That last thing is probably the major fault if you ask me---this bus also appears to be a bit low compared to most transit buses (probably even lower than a New Flyer LF, which with rear A/C on a straight diesel is just 9'3"; I would be surprised if the bus was taller than 10'3" (an RTS is 9'11") even with all of the rooftop housing.

 

Also, a bit more info: The rear spoiler actually covers up the turbine exhaust.

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I road it today, and i have to say, I loved it. When it was side by side an RTS at Javits Center, I saw alot of simalarities. My slight complains are the following:

1) The handle bars seem pretty uncomfortable for standing customers, not being metal and all.

2) No one stands in the elevated portion of buses anyways, so they should have tried to make it more standing room friendly, but instead, its even more difficult cause its only a little wedge in the floor.

 

Besides those two issues though, this was a great bus, and really will fit well with the rest of NYC fleet.

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I road it today, and i have to say, I loved it. When it was side by side an RTS at Javits Center, I saw alot of simalarities. My slight complains are the following:

1) The handle bars seem pretty uncomfortable for standing customers, not being metal and all.

2) No one stands in the elevated portion of buses anyways, so they should have tried to make it more standing room friendly, but instead, its even more difficult cause its only a little wedge in the floor.

 

Besides those two issues though, this was a great bus, and really will fit well with the rest of NYC fleet.

 

What time? I saw and shot it (door side and rear), but I didn't see it return for service after the midday; it headed north on 12 Avenue.

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I boarded around 1PM at Grand Central, and took it the Javits Center and got off at Times Square an hour later. The operator was talking to one of the designline people about the fact that the operator relieving him had not been trained on the bus.

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That's why MJQ B/O's are being told to take qualification training.

 

Which is interesting to say the least; normally when a new model arrives, all operators in that garage should be trained on it. I wonder if the deadhead to the East Side was the training.

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I got to ride this bus for real today (I only rode it two stops on Monday). Its a nice bus, really quiet. To be honest it sounds and feels like an Light rail car and the cars the JFK Airtrain use. I like how the bus populsion sounds like an railcar with AC Traction motors. Its rides smooth, which is rare for an MTA bus lol. Also I'm glad the TA didn't spec these things to have that annoying "please exit though the rear door!" anouncement thats on the NGs. I can bare the automated voices on 1302, there nowhere near as annoying as the automated anouncements on the NGs. I give this bus an 9 out of 10, all they need to do is redesign the inside of the bus it would be great!

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:P The RTS lives! LOL. But seriously, if you look at the Designline bus it looks like the natural heir to the RTS and will thus fit right in at MJQ. On a side note, will MJQ get all 90 of these buses, and if so will any of them make appearances on the Q32 or M98?

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