New Zealand's Intercity Coachlines
launched that country's first fleet of triple-decker buses. The company noted the "rising numbers of passengers" as well as "greater demands for entertainment and sleeping options" as providing the need for the new buses.
To prepare for the triple-deckers, the company had mapped low-height obstacles around the highway network, identifying "several tree branches that would require remedial work."
However, transport expert A. Fool was skeptical about whether the public would be able to accept triple-decker buses, saying, "They really have to be seen to be believed."
InterCity set to launch World's First Triple Decker Bus — April 1st, 2012
With rising passenger numbers and greater demand for entertainment and sleeping options, New Zealand's most comprehensive bus network, InterCity Coachlines, is building a fleet of triple-decker buses equipped with all the modern amenities of home.
InterCity Coachlines has invested $50 million into the venture and InterCity Group CEO Malcolm Johns, says it will be worth every cent. "The economies of scale are significant when adding an additional level to our standard vehicles and the extra floor space enables us to introduce sleeping options as well as a lounge/bar area."
Amendments to vehicle height restrictions were some of the less publicised law changes recently introduced, along with changes to the Give-Way rules, and had paved the way for the launch of InterCity's triple-decker fleet, according to Mr Johns.
Reaching a height of seven metres, or the equivalent of five stacked cars and being almost 17 metres long, the first of the new Triple-Decker buses is due into service by August this year and will operate on InterCity's Auckland to Wellington routes.
"As the number of triple-deckers in our fleet builds over the coming years you will see them in cities such as Tauranga, Hamilton, Christchurch and Dunedin," adds Mr Johns.
Malcolm Johns says the company has spent the last two years consulting with engineers from the Transport Agency of New Zealand to map and classify low height obstacles around the highway network. This identified several tree branches that would require remedial work. He says the company has been through the consultation process with land owners and he is confident those issues will be addressed before the first vehicle takes to the roads.
The new triple-decker buses will have a maximum capacity of 120 passengers. Overnight versions will offer sleeping facilities and all triple-deckers will feature a lounge and bar area equipped with PlayStation and three 50" LCD screens.
Mr Johns said fares on the new triple-decker services would start at the same low $1 price as all of InterCity's other services and customers would be able to upgrade to the sleeping and lounge facilities for an extra $40.
Transport Agency of New Zealand spokesperson, April Rhodes said they were impressed with the work InterCity had completed before approaching the agency. She said the new vehicles would provide a material uplift to long distance public transport in New Zealand.
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