Double-decker bus controversy arrives in San Luis Obispo

August 30, 2010


Updated Aug. 31. to include the price of the bus and statements by Tim Bochum, deputy director of public works.

Amid budget cuts and plans to raise the cost of bus service for the elderly and disabled, San Luis Obispo city officials announced a ribbon cutting ceremony to promote the addition of a new double-decker bus the city purchased for $850,000.

The ribbon cutting for the only California municipal-owned European style bus is scheduled for September 7 at 2:30 p.m. at City Hall.

The 14 foot-high bus does not fit under railroad bridges and tree lined roads. Because of this, the bus was unable to cover all but a portion of one existing route without modifications.

City workers moved obstacles on the two busiest routes.

“To make sure there were no issues we trimmed trees and had the cable company raise two cables,” said Dee Lawson, public works transit assistant. “The bus will do Route 4 in the morning and Route 5 in the afternoon.”

In addition, public works’ officials are planning to reconstruct the opening of the maintenance building to accommodate the two-story vehicle. Additional costs, such as hiring an outside firm to wash the bus because it will not fit in the city’s wash station, are also expected.

Tim Bochum, deputy director of public works, said the city purchased the bus to eliminate problems with leave behinds in the past. Usually during the first few weeks of a quarter at Cal Poly, the city would run an extra bus for a few hours four mornings a week to eliminate problems with buses being to crowded to fit all the people waiting to get on.

And while the city has decided to take two spare buses out of commission and only purchase one new bus, the amount of miles being driven will remain unchanged, aside from the overflow buses that run at least 24 hours a year.

In addition, Bochum said the funds for the new bus do not come out of the same pot used for operational costs. The federal, state and county monies, primarily federal monies, used for the bus were for  earmarked for capital expenditures.

In June, the San Luis Obispo City Council voted unanimously to defer requests for permission to raise standard fares from $1.25 to $1.50 and disabled fares from 60 cents to 75 cents. In addition, they rejected proposals that riders, who currently use free transfer passes from bus to bus, pay the full rate for each transfer more than doubling their cost of riding the bus.

Councilman Andrew Carter noted that when the city raised standard fares from $1 to $1.25 and disabled and senior fares from 50 cents to 60 cents in 2009, the amount of revenue dropped because of a decrease in ridership.

The council asked staff to consider charging more for monthly passes to make up for a budget deficit attributed to the reduced ridership and a 16 percent reduction in state funding.

Staffers are now requesting permission to raise senior and disabled monthly passes from $12.50 to $15, Lawson said. In addition, riders, who currently use free transfer passes from bus to bus, would have to pay 75 cents if the fare modifications are approved.

John Webster, public works transit manager, warned the council in June that if they do not find away to lower the deficit, they would be forced to cut services.

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AVTA operates a fleet of modern, comfortable buses and vans.

Our local fixed-route buses use a low-floor design that makes it easier to get on and off the bus. Transit vehicles seat 38 to 40 passengers and have 2 wheelchair positions. The front steps can be lowered for passengers who have difficulty boarding. These buses use “clean diesel” fuel and are environmentally friendly. AVTA maintains 37 local transit buses – 31 are in use daily.

Our Dial-A-Ride service features Ford and Chevrolet vans which accommodate up to 18 passengers and four wheelchairs. AVTA maintains 14 DAR vehicles – 11 are in use daily.

Our commuter service to Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley uses a mix of vehicles which seat 53 to 68 passengers. All of our commuter coaches are lift-equipped and feature high-back reclining seats with individual lights and venting. On board restrooms add an extra convenience. AVTA is proud of our signature double-deck buses which are used on routes with the high ridership

Hard to understand anyone disliking another agencies description of their fleet or satisfaction of their own double deck experience.

Bus fleet getting 16 more double-deckers

The first of 16 new double-decker buses will be rolling down the streets of Greater Victoria by next summer in the largest expansion of the region’s fleet in more than a decade.

By Times CDetails of the purchase, worth $12.8 million, were announced yesterday. The federal government is providing $5.65 million through the federal Gas Tax Fund — money made available to local governments for infrastructure projects that contribute to cleaner air, cleaner water or the reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions. B.C. Transit will provide the balance of the funding.

The double-deckers will help to address persistent complaints about crowded buses on many routes, especially ones serving the West Shore and post-secondary schools. Riders have complained about never being able to find a seat during rush hour, and being bypassed by buses that are too full.

Double-deckers can seat more than 80 passengers, about double the capacity of a single-level bus.

B.C. Transit introduced 11 double-deckers into regular service around Greater Victoria in 2000. At the time, double-deckers were a rarity for public-transit systems in North America.

The new double-deckers will have diesel engines that are promoted as cleaner-burning than the originals.

Wait! Wait! I got it! Use the bus as a taxi to shuttle drunks home from the downtown bars. In turn this will:

-bring in revenue for the city

-stop drunks from fighting outside of the bars while waiting for a taxi

-stop drunk Cal Poly kids from “taking shortcuts” accross the freeway

-If you install a stripper pole in it, it will provide a job for someone

I’m a genius.

Wow….considering your recent story on the SLO PD Dodge Chargers and the unusual cost of maintenance. It does not look like very intelligent decision are being made on how to spend our money. A policeman here can make over $130,000, drive a bad ass car and shoot rubber bullets at intoxicated students. Now we have a double-Decker buss that is to large to operate effectively or economically .

How many teachers did we lay off this year? How many mental health lay-offs? Recently we spent over $25.000 on additional police for the procession to honor a Fire Chief that was only her 5 years. I mean no disrespect for the Chief but I this was a spectacle usually reserved for a head of state.

It would seem that their priorities are a little

BIGRIC…..”Recently we spent over $25.000 on additional police for the procession to honor a Fire Chief that was only her 5 years. I mean no disrespect for the Chief but I this was a spectacle usually reserved for a head of state.”

First of all, you “mean no disrepect” but that is exactly what you are being, disrepectful. It was not a “spectacle”, it was a well deserved tribute to a man who dedicated his life to helping people. He was in charge of protecting your city, the citizens, your property, and he did a damn good job at it. While he was here for that five years he gave more to the community outside of his job than you have probably done in your entire life. Firefighters are HEROES. He deserved every bit of that procession, ceremony and reception…..and his wife paid for the cost. I don’t know about the cost of the extra cops but it was worth every penny.

Right On slojo,

Sorry….but it’s possible to offer differing opinions, risking polictical incorrectness, without being disrespectful.

Spectacle: spec·ta·cle (sp k t -k l). n. 1. a. Something that can be seen or viewed, especially something of a remarkable or impressive nature.

SLOJO….it was indeed a spectacle by definition….you infer a negative which is uncalled for.. I’ll also disagree with you, respectfully, about the concept of a job (for which one is duly paid), versus the concept of dedicating your life to helping people, without expection of compensation….like a soldier in combat that throws his body over a grenade. Every service job on the planet helps people. A street sweeper dedicates his or her life to helping people, and a Wall Steet Investment Banker (who makes fine commissions on investments) dedicates his or her life to helping people…….make money….so stop pulling on the heart strings…..John was indeed a wonderful person, dedicated to his job, and dedicated to his community.I totally disagree that firefighters in general are heros, they are employees. Their unions may use your biased argument to convince politicians and voters that firemen should receive higher wages and benefits than everyone else, but that’s simply not the case……they are people who take jobs with acknowledged risks for compensation…..their pay could be significantly reduced, and we’ll still have firefighters (and police for that matter) . Don’t kid yourself. If they were all volunteers, putting their lives on the line without expectation of compensation………..and there are plenty of people out there like that….. I’d agree with you in a heart beat…but honestly, that’s not reality. Whatever John’s family wanted for his services, and paid for, is appropriate, as is the case for every funeral. Why the city went overboard, and closed it’s offices and many departments…. and all the other fire departments that sent trucks and employees to our city…..(who knows at what cost)….well, that felt to me like emotional decisions made by public employees who don’t worry about how they spend other people’s money….which is why so many people are upset with the current state of our government…and, unfortunately, how government currently works in general. ……..So, quit pulling heart strings, stop toying with politics, and don’t utilize the death of a fine man to justify governmental excess, I know this isn’t politically correct, but our politicians better figure these things out soon or we’re all in for much bigger problems. John was indeed a wonderful man, and his unexpected passing was tragic. What next occured was indeed, by definition, a spectacle, and it’s worth thinking about from many respects.

Sorry Honesty Planet……it’s not that complicated.

John deserved the “spectacle”. John was not just your average Joe and he was worthy of a “spectacle”, not your average funeral.

It’s not everyday a Fire Chief dies. You will probably never see another “spectacle” like that in this city in your lifetime.

I find it offensive you disagree that firefighters are heroes. I am not one, but I know several and they are all heroes. It takes a special type of person to be a firefighter and if you ask any of them why they became a firefighter they will say “because I want to help people”. Now if you ask a wall street investor why they chose that profession they would most likely say it was for the money.

I’m not going to get into it with you about compensation and pensions but know this; the things that firefighters do and see on a daily basis, they should be paid more, not less.

LOL! You ain’t seen nothing yet! Wait till “Dave” kicks. They’ll probably close down SLO City for 3 days, rename that odd little city building on Morro Street (next to the parking structure) after him and fly military jet fighter aircraft down Higuera Street — all on the taxpayers’ dime.

“Dave” … of course you mean Congalton

Here’s where our life experiences differ greatly:;

Your Quote : “”I find it offensive you disagree that firefighters are heroes. I am not one, but I know several and they are all heroes. It takes a special type of person to be a firefighter and if you ask any of them why they became a firefighter they will say “because I want to help people”.:”

Like you, Slow Joe, I’ve known many many firefighters.They are all taking on special positions, but generally positions that pay far better than anything else they’ve been able to obtain based upon their general lack of education. (If they all answer….”because i want to help peolpe”…..well that’s quite a crew you’ve assembledto ask a question that should really be answered in a ffahion which reflects their lack of edcuation and the prospect of high payment. The job was potentially exciting, but the main draw, amongst my friends and associates, was the terrific pay, limited hours and virtually non-existant education requirements…..SO S.J., if you are a union advocate seeking to reconvince the gerneral public that this is a “calling”…..(maybe like priesthood”) where relatively uneducated young and women are willing to take on this risky profession (….anyone seen real stat rates on job risks???), not for money, but instead to do a job for the public……??/Well, I just have to disagree, and respectfully suggest you sound like a Union Agitator.

Soldiers who enlist to go figh in Afganisgtan for virtually no pay….that’s a public service commitment. Volunteer fireman, ditto…..People who travel to latino countries, as volunteers to set up wells, septic systems and schools….with no expection of compenstation……they are the Public Servants whom I, and most everyone else admires…..The city clerk who takes a day off becuase the new firechief died playing baseball?……after all everyone is getting the day off…….If that fits your que, we’ve got totallly different ideas about right, wrong, morals and public service…….You’ve chosen your world, I’m happy in mine.. Mines alright ….right here on the honesty planet. Easy to play cards too…..a spade is a spade, now matter ifyou try to call it a Heart (emotion) a, club…….Union?) or most especially …a diamond….(a valuable human being, magnanimous thinkging of no-one but themseves…)

Wake Up!


HonestyPlanet is 100% correct. This is why the Fire Dept gets so defensive when anyone tells the truth. They go so far as to get their unions to attempt to declare a boycott on folks like the winery up in Sonoma County whose owner spoke out about the cushy job, killer pay and outrageous benefits the FD union has managed to dupe the public out of . They carry on about their heroics and how dangerous their job is yet it is not even on the top 10 most dangerous jobs in the country but they are paid higher than any of those top 10 jobs! They all retire on disability because they get to dupe the public for additional retirement funds. For every FD position available there are literally over a 1000 men and woman hoping to fill the position. It’s one of the best jobs anyone without or even with an education can ‘snag’. Where else can you work a 2 day 48 hour shift, sleep on the job, get paid for the 48 hours, earn over 6 digits and have 5 day’s a week off?

Wait if the drunk students ride the bus home who will drive their Porches, Lexus, and other cars that these guys identify with as part of their cool. Who ever went up to a woman in a bar and said “I got a really cool double-decker parked downstairs want to go for a ride>” LOL

First of all, people need to get the facts before they propagate a bunch of needless rumors. The funds are not coming out of the city coffers, rather a federal program designated to improve transportation within communities.

It took a rather savvy maneuver to direct the monies, but the bucks do not come if a program is not prescribed. What should SLO do? Nothing?

Let’s see how this pans out before we start throwing stones. I have two nephews attending Cal Poly who cannot afford the cost of a vehicle and the fees to park it, so this might just become a good option for them.

Some complainers need to get a life and / or try to direct the negative vibes towards staving off what might cause the area to lose the tourism bucks, AKA pessimistic, uneducated rednecks.

califjoe…..the city should have bought a sh*tload of bicycles and made a “rent-a-bike” program…..or a bunch of Vespa’s and rented those out….

Who gives a rat’s backside? The money came from taxpayers.

slojo I agree with you all the way but the cops would hate this and never allow it to happen. Here’s why; They absolutely love the drunk students roaming around so that they can issue $350 urination in public tickets, drunk in public tickets for those who choose to walk instead of drive home, or for those who drive, they can issue DUI’s (ok with me). Drunk students are good business and great job security for SLOPD.

Everyone has missed this…

Councilman Andrew Carter noted that when the city raised standard fares from $1 to $1.25 and disabled and senior fares from 50 cents to 60 cents in 2009, the amount of revenue dropped because of a decrease in ridership.

So once again, they raise taxes thinking they will increase revenues, but people voted with their feet!!!!! So LOWER the fares.

Where to start to correct the so called “investigative” reporting? Lets just settle for poorly written and lacking in research and a newspaper in search of a manufactured controversy. Basic research would reveal the following:

In November 2008 the City used a DD style bus (loaned to the City for free) on Route #4 and it operated without any problems and received rave reviews from many who had the opportunity to ride.

The City always intended to replace two 40′ buses (1992 & 1997 models) beyond their 12 year useful life. The cost to replace both would be approximately $750,000 including sales tax. The Cities short range transit plan (srtp) recommended purchasing high occupancy vehicles such as a double deck bus. Articulated buses are unable to operate due to the added lenght and would not fit into the bus stops as presently designed.The City had identified specific bus routes (4&5) that carried over 470,000 passengers from July 1, 2009 thru June 30, 2010 that were subject to overcrowding and stranding passengers whenever buses on these routes were at capacity. THe DD is intended for use on these two routes but could be expanded to other routes with the sole exception of Route 6A due to the RR overpass on Highland Ave.

The purchase of the 81 seat DD bus eliminated the need to replace one bus and reduced the overall fleet size from 17 to 16. All buses in the SLO Transit fleet are used in revenue service and none are sitting idle or accumulating low annual miles.

A single DD bus is more economical to operate than two 40′ buses operating at the same time and has more passenger capacity as each 40′ bus has 36-38 seats not to mention less fuel and labor costs.

The City is unable to increase “service frequency” due to the reduction (23%) in State funding used for operations and the underlying cause of the fare increase under consideration. Capital funds CANNOT be used for operations and the DD purchase is not a factor in the fare situation.

The new DD bus used 90% Federal (FTA) and 10% local match using State and APCD funding for the purchase. NO City General funds were invloved.

UC Davis (Unitrans) has 2 new DD buses from the same company and run similar “Public Transit” service to a university albeit with a larger fleet.

New maintnenace doors at the transit facility were installed and bus washing will be done on site by the City contractor (First Transit) who operates the SLO Transit system.

Finally, someone with some facts.

Someone with some facts…..Someone from Public Works ya think?

Probably the DD bus vendor…

But is it not true that the DD only has 20 additional seats? Add that to the liable and risk of falls for climbing the steps in the wet weather and I really don’t think we come out ahead. Plus, seniors and diabled will not be able to use those seats unless special accomodations are made, MORE MONEY … Still doesn’t make sense!

OMG-info discussed on a DC radio show “MUST” be somehow a fact without bothering to check the data. Same as this article that first reported the bus cost at $350,000 (good research?) how can anyone accept that the remaining statements must be accurate? I listened to the same show and the so called reporter told a story how many of the riders she interviewed told her they couldnt use the bus because it didnt run late enough to say rubn into a bookstore for an erand. A cursory check of the SLO transit schedules would show they have evening service on Routes 2,3,4 & 6B that runs past 10:30 pm.(Again, good research?) Another caller indicated that she say city staff trimming trees on Mill street to allow the DD bus to operate which was not true according to city staff.

Check the city website for the ridership records, the route #4 runs from 6:30 am-6:15 pm Monday-Friday when CP is in session and “averaged” over 42 passengers per hour from October 2009-June 15, 2010. The route #5 “averaged” over 40 passengers per hour. THAT on all hours of operation.Now this is just the average, give the fact that MANY trips averaged over 60 passengers per hour how can anyone fault the city for purchasing a higher capacity bus for the benefit of their passengers. A 40′ bus has between 36-38 seats so given the average there are always pasengers who have to stand an 81 seat DD bus is a GOOD Deal.

As far as not needing 16 buses who is in the best position to decide that, a reporter or reader who has probablly NEVER stepped on a city bus or the professional staff employed by the city. As an FYI the city just completed in July 2010 a comprehensive Federal review of their transit operations and the fleet size was determined to be appropriate for their operations. (Read it on line at the MTC website)

Given the fact that one of the 16 is a trolly replica and not suited for transit routes except in an emergency the effectively have 15 buses available. With 9 needed to street service (10 when the trolley is running) it is not unusual to have another 2-3 buses assisting (shadow bus) to get buses running late due to trafic, etc which now put the number at 11-12. That leaves as so called “spares” and when you factor buses out of service for preventative maintenance (oil changes etc) or repairs how in the world can that ratio be unreasonable or wasteful. If somehow actual trips had to be cancelled due to a lack of buses I have no doubt that the same so called experts would be calling for an investigation for not having enough.

The last comment “So, because they can use grant money they should because if they don’t another city might get it. ” is so far off base it show the complete lack of understanding about how Federal Transit Administration section 5307 funding is provided.

A good synopsis of your last year’s worth of city employment, transituser. Nice justification!

Transituser: I sure hope you’re not writing all this on your city computer at your city desk when you’re supposed to be working.

By golly gosh Transituser…..if you’re not a city employee, in the public works department, I’ve got two shoes I need to eat. (Size 12, U.S)….right after I finish with my hat (Dodgers Blue Cap 1976 edition). It’s entirely entertaining (“That’s Entertainment” MGM 1979) the amazing resources you have at your disposal to aprise all of us taxpayers about just what a great deal that $300,000/850,000.00 DD ( I’m guessing here….but “double decker” maybe?) bus was. So ….I’m so happy the new doors are installed at the transit facility….(but how does that dispose of the argument that those doors were only required because of the DD Bus)…….and I’m delighted that a City contractor (Someone the city has to pay above and beyond the PW [Public Works} employee pool) will be washing the DD bus…..but I assume that’s not free of charge ….probably PW (Prevailing Wage) . I read your post and think that you’re just really….. really…. reaching to justify the purchase of the 800 lb. gorilla that everyone knows is in the room….So…..pretend you’re a “Transituser”…..preach the same junk that resulted in the purchase, and impress no one…….who reads between the lines.

transituser has made many good points and reasonable arguments. The bus is here and to that extent, it’s time to give it a try and see how it all works out. He (she?) may be absolutely right and the bus might have been just what the doctor ordered. Besides, it is cute and adds a certain flavor to the overall SLO town feel. Let’s wait and see.

P.S. I agree that transit is not a transituser but rather a “transitprovider” (probably employed in the capacity of the PW Dept.) I have never thought otherwise myself.

“John Webster, public works transit manager, warned the council in June that if they do not find away to lower the deficit, they would be forced to cut services.”

How about the Council making it clear to the transit manager that if he doesn’t come up with ways to increase ridership they will find a transit manager that can.

One of the issues is that there are not any consequences for the transit manager for not increasing ridership. In the private sector if your sales manager wasn’t able increase sales they’d be replaced.

Interesting, Does the transit manager have the authority to identify and implement routing changes to and or from the current service areas, streets, venues and districts? How about time schedules, does the transit manager have the authority to alter route schedules? How about fees, does the transit manager have the authority to set passenger fees because it sounds to me like that’s all dictated to him by the SLOCC. How about maintenance and negotiating those contracts, does the TM have the authority to assign those contracts and services? Who is pulling the strings? Is the transit manager the controller or the scape goat? I would be interested in the degree of authority and lack there of sanctioned unto the TM before I respond further.

THere is a public process contained in the Short Range Transit Plan updated and approved by the SLO Council in May 2009 for changes in fares and route miles and hours.

The City Council review and approve the Transit contract.

The Mass Transportation Committee (MTC) meets every 2 months regarding transit related issues and have links on the city website.

Is it me…..or is it entirely obvious that you’re a city employee?

I would say 3 straight years (FY 2008, 2009 & 2010) of over 1 million riders each year where it had never exceeded 950,000 represents an increase in riders. How much did the economy and fewer people using transit to commute to a job impact transit as 2009 riders was 1,032,000 and 2010 was 1,019,000?

Time to check the facts doncha think???

How many of those riders are NOT transit dependent or Cal Poly riders?. The transit manager can tell the consultant who prepares the Short Range Transit Plan to make routing changes. Route 2 which is a reverse route on South Higurea and Route 4 looping on Autoparkway are prime examples of pretty piss poor routing. If the transit manager doesn’t have the huevos to make that recomendation to change that routing find someone who will. Not to mention the routing either 4 or 5 takes through the mall- it’s rediculous. What the hell is the MTC doing anyway?. Too much time playing nice and not enough busting ass.

I have a question… The bus drivers work for a contract service that maintain and drive the buses. Does the transit manager have a consultant to prepare Transit plans? Isn’t that his job and if not, what are his duties. Finance Dept sell the bus passes, contract agency maintains and drives the buses, consultant prepares reports, and the Transit does???????? Please help me here. According to the City’s Human Resource records there is a Transit Manager ($88,244), an Asst Transit Manager ($54,244) and an Operational Manager ($88,244), this does NOT include benefits. Are you telling me they need to hire outside consultants to prepare transit plans for the size of this City using the same routes year after year with slight modifications. REALLY?

Now you’re starting to ask the right questions.

Okay……now I’m convinced that you personally ordered the DD Bus…? You’ve seem to have more “facts” than anyone on the planet that justify the purchase…… Coincidental doncha think???

This is just the beginning. When AB32 kicks in there will be more of this and worse. This cuts down on bus trips. It’s not about service anymore.

08/30/2010 at 7:42 pm

Financially speaking, this is a poor decision. To add this double deck bus for one run in the AM and one in the afternoon because they “often run two buses back to back” does not justify the expense. With each run of the double trendy bus producing one hour of work savings at $40 per hour, it will take 72 years to pay for this. A wise operator would take existing resources and double up the buses as is current practice based on need. Most of the buses I see around town are not filed to capacity and better management of the existing resources is the smarter move.

Even the city officials are have noted a decrease in revenue and decline in usage and may have to reduce services. To top that off, we are holding a ribbon cutting ceremony because we are so proud of wasting more money. Seriously, city council please try the “For the People, By the People” thing just once.

This bus will run 12-13 round trips per day on routes 4&5 that carried over 470,000 passengers collectively in 2009-10. Since purchasing longer “articulated” buses is not possible due to the size limits of the bus stops seems to be a good solution. “Double up the buses” would result in double the cost and not possible given the existing reduction in State funding.

For a City the size of SLO, carrying over 1 million passengers for the last three straight years is exceptional and any minor (2%) drop in riders is more a reflection on the economy than bad operating practices. IMHO

In a system that carried just over 1 million passengers per year, nearly half of all fares come from routes 4 and 5. So it takes the remaining 15 buses to carry the other half million passenger. That means that routes 4 and 5 carry an average of 99 riders per trip with seating for 38, each and every trip 365 days per year. You must be making this stuff up. Shift some of those other buses to the peak routes and times and stop making excuses for poor management of the existing resources.

Saveslocounty you assume that all riders ride the complete trip of a route. This is simply not true. A bus most certainly carries more people throughout the course of its route than it can physically carry at a single time.

If you were even interested in trying to determine some facts to form the basis of a comment a cursory check on the transit website ( you would discover that routes 4+5 run every thirty minutes during the week and it takes four bbuses to provide that service.

Well at least the bus is cute. I hope they don’t have lot’s of old folks that ride the bus because they will have to climb up and down those steep stairs. Don’t know if anybody penciled out the cost for maintaining the infrastructure that is necessary to accommodate the bus or what they came up with but I imagine they found it fiscally advantageous. Redondo Beach used to have two decker buses back in the early 80’s to transport people back and forth from parking lots to the local weekend swap meet (hugh swap meet every Sat and Sun). They eventually decommissioned the cute buses and went back to the standard ones, not sure know why. I do recall the stairs to the top floor being very steep and difficult to negotiate (especially when coming down them) when our arms were full of packages and we couldn’t hold the railing. As I recall one person cracked their head open and another broke their hip. Maybe that’s why they decommissioned them, just saying………………

Cindy brought up an important issue. Does the bus really meet the ADA requirements? I have been on a bus similar to this and yes the stairways are very steep. I’m going to venture that all of the local ambulance chasing attorneys will now add double decker bus to their resume. How long will it take until someone takes advantage of the steep stairway and gets “injured.”

Oh well just another day at City Hall.

I never considered that their would be some people who would invest their flesh in the high stakes/ high risk game of a slip and fall opportunity but I think you’re right. Some surely would especially once they use the stairs and realize the caution that a patron must exercise. I’d say that the city will need to place strategic cameras in those stair way’s. They will also need to be certain that the stairs are covered with variegated, non slip materials that capture any water from boots, shoes, dripping raincoats,etc. It might be a good idea to require people with packages and umbrella’s to check them on the lower deck with the bus driver and require that everyone must hold the railing when using the stairs. At least this will cut down on liability and the camera’s can be used to validate a legitimate accident.

I only mentioned the two most serious accidents that I recall (in my above post) but there were frequent minor injuries as well from slipping on the wet metal stair’s because they are not just steep but very narrow and it’s easy for a foot to slide off the edge (especially if wet or oily) and land on the next stair off balance. Maybe they have already considered all of that. If not, they may want to call the city of Redondo Beach and ask them about their historical claims experience. Just saying……………

What they will surly do is install a wheelchair friendly elevator and staff it with a member of the heavy equipment operator’s union.

Problem solved, Ta Da!