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traildriver

Low floor bus with no steps?

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My question is, why can't they design a low-floor bus with the entire floor low. Couldn't they use some kind of independent rear suspension without the axle/differential that prevents that?

I was thinking that with the new hybrid technology, they could have the engine run a larger generator, that would provide traction power to smaller electric motors that could power each wheel, in the fashion of a locomotive.

There would be no need for a complex transmission, and there would be the added advantage of better traction on icy, snowy roads.

I wonder if this was ever attempted anywhere?

Would it cost too much more than the conventional system?

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Uh, that would be incredibly complex because you still need a location to place the engine and all major components in the rear. They've tried to do full-low floors with the engine placed to one side of the bus as to make the entire bus one whole level, but I heard about some space issues/setup issues made it worse or whatever happened to the design

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@SoSpectacular: What are you talking about? It is possible to have a fully low-floor bus.

The Van Hool A308 has a fully low-floor:

http://www.vanhool.be/Home%20EN/coaches%20%26%20buses/public%20transport/Europe/a308EN.html

And a few others from Van Hool have a fully low-floor too.

 

Also, the VDL Berkhof Citea has a fully low-floor:

http://www.openbaarvervoerinboskoop.nl/rubrieken/citea/

http://www.vdlbuscoach.com/en/products/city/citea/clf-120-low-floor.html

 

The Volvo 7700 Hybrid also has a fully low-floor.

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NYCTA prefers rear engined buses, becuase side mounted, mid engines are a PITA to work on. Rear engines also mean smaller repair bays in the depots since all your work is behind the bus.

 

Uhm, the Berkhof Citea and Volvo 7700 Hybrid have a rear engine while being fully low-floor at the same time. So that's not really a problem for NYCTA.

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Vistauss beat me to it, but alot of foreign buses are 100% low floor. It is possible, but American bus companies (no offense to you Flyer, Nova, and NABI fans) are too lazy to try that. Orion attempted with the VI but then quickly gave up. Not much follow through eh?

 

The original design for the D40LF was to be fully low floor as well but they gave up (explaining the delay between 1989 and 1994 for the production buses to roll out)

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Low, but not flat and level.

 

Yes it is. Look at this pictures from the Berkhof Citea:

 

VDL_Bus_Coach__Citea_005.jpg

aaaid7.jpg

 

You can clearly see how flat and level it is.

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AFAIK they did not. Must be a special order for Quebec.

 

Most of the first gen LFSes did not have steps (yep, mostly Quebec province).

 

STM*, STL, RTL, RTC and OC Transpo are the ones with No Steps I remember.

 

*The STM converted ALL of its 1st gens to have steps at rear.

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Okay, so I see it is possible. Wonder why it was not successful?

I like the idea of having the third door in the far rear. Would greatly speed up loading/unloading on heavy routes, and would encourage riders to move to rear, which they now resist.

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@SoSpectacular: What are you talking about? It is possible to have a fully low-floor bus.

The Van Hool A308 has a fully low-floor:

http://www.vanhool.be/Home%20EN/coaches%20%26%20buses/public%20transport/Europe/a308EN.html

And a few others from Van Hool have a fully low-floor too.

 

Also, the VDL Berkhof Citea has a fully low-floor:

http://www.openbaarvervoerinboskoop.nl/rubrieken/citea/

http://www.vdlbuscoach.com/en/products/city/citea/clf-120-low-floor.html

 

The Volvo 7700 Hybrid also has a fully low-floor.

 

As mentioned before, a pain in the ass

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Okay, so I see it is possible. Wonder why it was not successful?

I like the idea of having the third door in the far rear. Would greatly speed up loading/unloading on heavy routes, and would encourage riders to move to rear, which they now resist.

 

If I remember correctly, it's because people would slip and fall during winter (in our case, as the floor over there was a bit inclined)...

 

RTL Longueuil still had these in 2006. After that year the LFSes have steps.

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As mentioned before, a pain in the ass

 

Well actually, the buses I mentioned are rather popular in Europe (except for the Volvo 7700 Hybrid), so I don't see why it can't become popular in the US also.

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Okay, so I see it is possible. Wonder why it was not successful?

I like the idea of having the third door in the far rear. Would greatly speed up loading/unloading on heavy routes, and would encourage riders to move to rear, which they now resist.

 

TA would be against the 3rd door in the rear of a 40ft bus for 2 reasons: 1. it would make it that much easier for fair beaters to sneak onto the rear of crowded buses

2. it would take away seats from an already internally smaller bus

 

and on a side note the side mounted engine creates an extremely uneven weight distribution in the rear that even the lower center of gravity gained by the fully low floor design could not account for on these uneven/bumpy/pothole-ridden NYC streets

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Vistauss beat me to it, but alot of foreign buses are 100% low floor. It is possible, but American bus companies (no offense to you Flyer, Nova, and NABI fans) are too lazy to try that. Orion attempted with the VI but then quickly gave up. Not much follow through eh?

 

The original design for the D40LF was to be fully low floor as well but they gave up (explaining the delay between 1989 and 1994 for the production buses to roll out)

 

That bus also had an off-center engine. There are also puller-type artics that are true low floor in nature.

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2. it would take away seats from an already internally smaller bus

 

and on a side note the side mounted engine creates an extremely uneven weight distribution in the rear that even the lower center of gravity gained by the fully low floor design could not account for on these uneven/bumpy/pothole-ridden NYC streets

 

How would it take away seats? At least the Berkhof Citea here has as much as seats as a regular bus, so if they can do it, anyone can do it. You don't have a valid argument here.

And why a side-mounted engine? Both the Berkhof Citea and the Volvo 7700 have a fully low floor and a motor on the back. So that's not a valid argument either.

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TA would be against the 3rd door in the rear of a 40ft bus for 2 reasons: 1. it would make it that much easier for fair beaters to sneak onto the rear of crowded buses

2. it would take away seats from an already internally smaller bus

 

and on a side note the side mounted engine creates an extremely uneven weight distribution in the rear that even the lower center of gravity gained by the fully low floor design could not account for on these uneven/bumpy/pothole-ridden NYC streets

 

The extra door would work okay on one of those 'proof-of-fare' type operations.

I did see while I was in Germany some specialized airport air-side buses built by Contrac. It had a front engine design with front wheel drive and small rear wheels that allowed an almost fully flat floor. Of course, that layout 'wastes' some space in the front of the bus, and the entrance is rear of the driver, so would be awkward for front fare collection.

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Vistauss beat me to it, but alot of foreign buses are 100% low floor. It is possible, but American bus companies (no offense to you Flyer, Nova, and NABI fans) are too lazy to try that. Orion attempted with the VI but then quickly gave up. Not much follow through eh?

 

The original design for the D40LF was to be fully low floor as well but they gave up (explaining the delay between 1989 and 1994 for the production buses to roll out)

 

Okay, so I see it is possible. Wonder why it was not successful?

I like the idea of having the third door in the far rear. Would greatly speed up loading/unloading on heavy routes, and would encourage riders to move to rear, which they now resist.

 

It doesn't have anything to do with being lazy. The US market doesn't demand a full low floor. Not only that, but 100% of the TA's I have visited have their maintenance bays set up for rear engine accessability. It was tried by GMC, New Flyer, Nova, and Orion. The designs didn't go over well with US agencies at all. The best of them in my opinion was the RTX prototype.

 

Not only that, but side mounted engines require counterweights, which do nothing but decrease the efficiency of the bus.

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Most buses are rear wheel drive also, and having more weight over the drive wheels generall increases traction. (Why do you think sports cars have spoilers over the back?)

 

I don't know if that applies to buses as well, but the rear engine configuration is tried and tested....

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Battery powered busses, and trackless trollies with batteries/small generators can have full low floors, but one of the more common designs is the articulated kind with the engines in the rear of the front segment, they also have double articulated busses with similar configuration.

 

It just really depends on if you want good handling or not. Mostly low floor busses with no entry/exit steps will ride a bit rougher, whereas ones with a bit more structure down below will ride a little more smoothly. I'd like to see a 3 door 62 foot articulated all low floor model.

 

- A

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