SLO double-decker bus crashed into bridge

January 25, 2016

Double decker bus 2

Part of the top of San Luis Obispo’s double-decker bus was sheared off Monday morning when its driver attempted to drive the 14 foot-high bus under a 12 and a half foot-high railroad bridge on Highland Drive on the Cal Poly campus.

While attempting to leave the campus, with no passengers on board, the driver went off route. The driver was not injured in the crash.

In 2010, the city purchased the bus to eliminate problems with a lack of bus seats. 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 too crowded to fit all the people waiting to get on.

At that time, public works staff noted that the 14 foot-high bus would 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 then trimmed trees and raised two cables to modify Route 4 and Route 5, the two busiest routes.

In addition, public works’ officials needed to reconstruct the opening of the maintenance building to accommodate the $850,000 two-story vehicle.

The cost of repairing the vehicle is not yet available. The driver was taken out of work rotation while the accident is investigated.


Hope everybody noticed why we have this silly bus: “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.” In other words, after the first few weeks, beer and partying take over and the studious ones don’t bother to go to morning classes. Way to go CPSLO: Best in the West Not.


I’m guessing you never went to college because your comment shows that the only things you know about it are what you learned from watching movies like Animal House. The first few weeks of the quarter are extra busy because students are trying to add (crash) extra classes that are often full thanks to budget cuts. After the first couple weeks, the add/drop period closes and students settle into their routines and figure out alternatives to traveling to school on the bus during those busy morning hours. It has nothing to do with beer and partying (in fact, more of that happens during the first few weeks due to lack of midterms). Students that party all quarter and don’t bother to go to morning classes don’t last at Cal Poly very long.


The first time I observed the now infamous bus in SLO, it just appeared top-heavy—unstable— as it made a dicey turn off of a residential street, westbound onto Los Osos Valley Road. Then and there, I determined to never step aboard. On every subsequent sighting, I’ve never seen passengers upstairs.

fishing village

Oh no! shouldn’t the most skilled, alert driver be driving the most expensive, new bus? It’s only government money, remember!!

Jorge Estrada

Out of fairness to the driver, the bridge doesn’t appear to have the height clearance posted? Out of route, oops?


Yea it’s probably in the wreckage.


No excuse!


Is there a reason the clearance on this bridge is so low? This has happened before, and not too long ago.

Secondly, I believe these “highly paid City employee bus drivers” a gouging taxpayers by making $15 an hour on average. That is why you have people hitting stuff. And who knows, it could have been a really good driver on an unfamiliar route.

Glad no one was hurt.


“…unfamiliar route.” yes, because it is not part of the route and an experienced driver would have known this.nnDriver was taking the scenic route!


Most likely to low as built a long time ago in early age of automobiles and no tall trucks and buses.


I suspect the bridge is the height it is is because it was built for the train.

Perhaps, now that the bus needs to go in for major repairs, they can move the driver’s seat to the second floor, where he/she can clearly see the bridges coming, and do something about it.


That’s SLO for you – “Learn By Doing”





The double-decker bus was a joke from the beginning and I agree with Sam Louis about the huge ladder truck. Of course we’re now going to approve 5 story buildings so we can actually say that we have a definite use of this apparatus.

SLO citizens are slaves to our incompetent city officials…hiring outsiders at ridiculous

salaries when we should promote from within. I won’t be around to see it but we are on track to bankruptcy. Let’s replace the council with competent conservative people who have the best interests of the citizens at heart.


Neat photo of an LA Metro articulated bus and a conventional Culver City bus. Both of which probably hold as many as SLO’s ever-so-cute double decker bus:


I won’t try to defend their choice of the double decker, but I don’t think the articulated bus would work in SLO. First off, it would be too long for the bus parking bays at the transit center and too long to pull into most of the bus stops (which would cause the city to remove even more valuable street parking), and might not be able to negotiate turns on all the routes.