X62 bike bus feedback wanted (esp non-MTB)

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RobinTux
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X62 bike bus feedback wanted (esp non-MTB)

Postby RobinTux » 4 Jun 2020, 9:25pm

Hi, I'm talking to the MD of our local bus company who is considering internal bike racks like this one on the Borders Buses X62
https://www.bordersbuses.co.uk/bike-friendly-buses

Has anyone got any feedback on how well they work?
Especially for other bikes than MTBs - as this would be for a commuter route and possibly leisure/touring users too.

tim-b
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Re: X62 bike bus feedback wanted (esp non-MTB)

Postby tim-b » 5 Jun 2020, 6:09am

Hi
Not specific feedback, but would vertical racking give a slightly greater capacity and allow better access to each bike?
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jgurney
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Re: X62 bike bus feedback wanted (esp non-MTB)

Postby jgurney » 5 Jun 2020, 8:34am

Those bikes in the demo are very clean and bare MTB's (not even fitted with lights). Unless they were actually used only for purposes that did not need an MTB at all, would they be allowed on the bus back home when covered in mud?

Would a more typical bike, with a rear rack, fit into that wheel holder?

I've never tried to stand my bike on it's rear wheel and walk along with it as shown in the video. Many utility cyclists won't have. If an old lady turns up on a shopper and either hasn't the strength to do that or the bike has a full mudguard making it impossible, will she be refused carriage or will the driver get out of the cab to load the bike for her?

Does the bus have a luggage rack where all the dismounted panniers, etc, can go? With room for those and the other passengers' luggage?

If the pasenger whose bike is closest to the window wants to get off before owners of three other bikes 'on top' of it do, the bus will have to stand at the stop for some minutes while the various bikes are shuffled around in a limited space to get that one off.

As there are only four places, unless it is a frequent bus service, there will need to be a booking system or no cyclist will be able to rely on being able to travel (e.g. if a family of four cyclists turns up, the chances they will all get on together without pre-booking are small, and if they are lucky all others won't be).

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Paulatic
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Re: X62 bike bus feedback wanted (esp non-MTB)

Postby Paulatic » 5 Jun 2020, 8:50am

I’ve not used the X62 but don’t plump for racks like the X74 as they certainly don’t work well.
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Runragged2
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Re: X62 bike bus feedback wanted (esp non-MTB)

Postby Runragged2 » 18 Jun 2020, 10:42am

It may be worth looking at the Isle of Wight where they have an adapted double decker taking bikes

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mjr
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Re: X62 bike bus feedback wanted (esp non-MTB)

Postby mjr » 18 Jun 2020, 10:54am

jgurney wrote:I've never tried to stand my bike on it's rear wheel and walk along with it as shown in the video. Many utility cyclists won't have. If an old lady turns up on a shopper and either hasn't the strength to do that or the bike has a full mudguard making it impossible, will she be refused carriage or will the driver get out of the cab to load the bike for her?

I tried once. As you guess, the sickening crunch of rear mudguard on the ground discouraged further attempts!
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hufty
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Re: X62 bike bus feedback wanted (esp non-MTB)

Postby hufty » 18 Jun 2020, 11:42am

A while ago the local buses round here had racks on the back but they weren't used very much. It may have been a general lack of demand, but to my mind what killed it was the restrictions put on them by the operator. The driver had to get out of his cab to operate the thing and so they made it that you could only load your bike on at the beginning of a route not midway through. Can't remember if you could get your bike off mid route but I don't think you could.

For internal storage I would have thought a multipurpose space would be better and easier to implement than a purpose made toast rack? A gap definitely wide enough to fit a full size bike in with the front wheel straight, a few tying off points, cyclists to provide their own bungees or use a belt or whatever. Then flip down seats for when there's no bikes or pushchairs, and a rear facing backrest/backstop for wheelchair users.

Just out of interest our longest bike (a normal 700c tourer) would need a 180cm wide space. Any advance on 180cm anyone?
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jgurney
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Re: X62 bike bus feedback wanted (esp non-MTB)

Postby jgurney » 18 Jun 2020, 12:07pm

hufty wrote:Then flip down seats for when there's no bikes or pushchairs,

Railway experience shows that if these are provided, even when there are plenty of normal seats available there will be passengers who for some whimsical reason prefer the flip-down seats and are then unwilling to vacate them to allow cycles to be placed in the space. This is a frequent problem on South West Railways trains, where many trains have flip-down seats in the cycle bays for use as seats only at peak times when bikes are banned. However passengers insist on using them at other times, even when there are plenty of normal seats vacant, leading to needless disputes.
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[XAP]Bob
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Re: X62 bike bus feedback wanted (esp non-MTB)

Postby [XAP]Bob » 18 Jun 2020, 3:17pm

For internal storage I would have thought a multipurpose space would be better and easier to implement than a purpose made toast rack? A gap definitely wide enough to fit a full size bike in with the front wheel straight, a few tying off points, cyclists to provide their own bungees or use a belt or whatever. Then flip down seats for when there's no bikes or pushchairs, and a rear facing backrest/backstop for wheelchair users.


NO - the wheelchair space needs to be dedicated, otherwise it ends up being used for other rubbish and it takes an age to get onto the bus. It's hard enough as it is.

Most drivers have been good about kicking other people out of the wheelchair space, but it just makes the journey that much less attractive.
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hufty
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Re: X62 bike bus feedback wanted (esp non-MTB)

Postby hufty » 19 Jun 2020, 12:42pm

jgurney: I think buses are a bit different from trains. The driver is right there to deal with any disputes, plus they're generally not overcrowded in quite the same way as a rush hour trains habitually are. Also, apart from the lads at the back listening to tinny music without headphones, bus passengers seem to rub along quite well together.

[XAP]Bob: First buses round here have non-dedicated wheelchair provision and it's not a problem. It's basically just a rear facing flip down chair with a taller upholstered backrest. With the seat flipped up the wheelchair user isn't going anywhere if the bus does an emergency stop. The rest of the time people tend to park their tartan shopping trolleys pushchairs and large rucksacks there.

I would think flexible space would be an easier sell than dedicated bike space + dedicated wheelchair space + luggage rack, as realistically most of the time the space is not going to have a bike in it.
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jgurney
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Re: X62 bike bus feedback wanted (esp non-MTB)

Postby jgurney » 19 Jun 2020, 2:00pm

hufty wrote:jgurney: I think buses are a bit different from trains. The driver is right there to deal with any disputes,

They are, but it make life easier for the drivers if we design out disputes in the first place.

plus they're generally not overcrowded in quite the same way as a rush hour trains habitually are.

I did not write about what happen in rush hours. Bikes are banned from SWR trains then anyway. The issue is people occupying tip-up seats from preference when there are other seats available and then being obstinate about vacating them again.

bus passengers seem to rub along quite well together.

My own experience is that anti-social behaviour is more common on buses than on trains.

First buses round here have non-dedicated wheelchair provision and it's not a problem.

It is only 'non-dedicated' in the sense that others might use it for other purposes as long as there is no wheelchair user present (such as conveient
storage of objects which could if necessary be placed elsewhere, such as rucksacks) on condition that it is made available as soon as needed. A shopping trolley or riucksack can be moved elsewhere. The driver should not be allowing a situation to develop where someone is allowed on with an object which could go nowhere else, so they would have to get off the bus in the event a wheelchair user boarded.

A bike could not really go anywhere else, so "flexible" space would really mean telling cyclists they could bring bikes onboard only on condition that they got off again if a wheelchair user got on. That would mean a service so unreliable as to be practically useless.

I would think flexible space would be an easier sell
I think it would be practically unsaleable. If a bus company sent me an advert for their services, stating that they might or might not let me on, and if they did let me on then might or might not carry me through to my destination or might make me get off again somewhere on route, I think I would be in no hurry to be a customer.

hufty
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Re: X62 bike bus feedback wanted (esp non-MTB)

Postby hufty » 19 Jun 2020, 6:02pm

I meant saleable to the bus company when they're specifying seating layouts not to you or me as a passenger. We get what we're given.
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