Does Kingston Need Double Decker Buses?

Double Decker BusWhen someone mentions double decker buses, chances are you conjure up images of the UK’s iconic red-coloured variety, or perhaps the open air models that are used to ferry around tourists on sightseeing ventures in larger cities. Save for the Megabuses that operate between Montreal and Niagara Falls, there aren’t too many cities in Canada that actually employ double decker buses as a part of their public transit system. Last week, OC Transpo reconfirmed that Ottawa is moving towards incorporating approximately 75 double decker buses into their fleet of over 1,000 buses, which already include a number of articulated models. This got me thinking about the future of Kingston Transit, and whether or not double decker models might be a good fit for the Limestone City’s public transit scheme. Accordingly, this week’s poll asks:

Should Kingston's Transportation Master Plan incorporate double-decker buses?

  • Yes, absolutely. (54%, 90 Votes)
  • No way. (35%, 59 Votes)
  • Only for tourists. (8%, 13 Votes)
  • Something else entirely. (3%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 167

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I honestly can’t remember the last time I saw one of our city buses zoom past a scheduled stop because it was too full, so perhaps the increased capacity offered by double decker buses isn’t needed – yet.  That said, if investments in public transportation and our interest in sustainability continue to thrive, perhaps this novel idea is worthy of a serious discussion. When you consider that one double decker bus has the capacity of two traditional models, requires less fuel, operators, road space and maintenance, perhaps these wacky mass people movers are an ideal fit for Kingston’s Master Transportation Plan. And now that they come in hybrid flavours, they’re an even tastier option from a sustainability point of view. Just don’t look at the price tag.

Do you think double decker buses would work here, or do you see them as a gimmick? Would you rather have an LRT system in Kingston instead?  How would you change local commuter culture for the better?

Thanks to lippert61 for today’s photo.

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18 Comments

  1. Danielle January 30, 2012
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