“At least that’s one thing the streetcar has going for it…”


A reader reports:

“Sunday morning at 4th and K NE. Articulated bus didn’t quite make the turn and got stuck behind a parked Prius. Had to off load all the passengers. It blocked pretty much the whole intersection and I overheard the operator and supervisor talking about how articulated buses can’t back up. At least that’s one thing the streetcar has going for it…”

Speaking of mocking the Streetcar – this take on the Springfield Monorail from Sadie Dingfelder is pretty special:

16 Comment

  • I can’t find the source, but I swear I’d read that more cities have discontinued their bendy-bus use than are still using it… and those that use it have it on routes that are wide open roadways.

    • I’d have to imagine most of the benefit/savings is in Labor, and not environmental, certainly not ease of integration with other traffic.

      • west_egg

        I believe they also have a shorter lifespan compared to “regular” buses.

      • I wonder what the real savings are, if any. Even though they may result in slightly fewer drivers, I’m sure they require additional training for the articulated models. Add to that the costs of two additional bus models in inventory (I believe there are two types in service), all the additional parts and mechanic training, as well as a larger berthing footprint and other costs I’m probably missing.

    • London was in the process of phasing them out when I last lived there for safety reasons. They run over a lot more people than regular length buses.

      • +1 I remember that too! When I was living in London in 2011/2012 they were phasing them out for safety reasons.

      • Not that it forgives the buses for running people over but I do wonder exactly how this happens, unless people just walk into the second part of the bus. I take these every day and they’ve never bumped over curbs or anything….

        • I was almost hit by a coach bus in the crosswalk today, so I imagine it’s easy if the driver is careless and misjudged the swing on the rear.

          • Those commuter coach buses are the worse. They are equally as dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians. They always are running lights and going 10 – 15 mph over the speed limit.

          • Agreed about the commuter coach buses. They’ve almost caused accidents with my WMATA bus a handful of times just in the past couple weeks. Worst.

          • Although purely a horrible accident (the woman fell while running), a commuter coach killed a ped earlier this year.

          • The commuter buses are very dangerous outside of the city too. The place I lived before moving here had them, and I had to share the road daily with them. They also have horrendous maintenance records and breakdown frequently.

        • west_egg

          I don’t think I’ve ever seen one jump the curb but they come really close sometimes. Combine this with oblivious individuals standing way too close to the curb while gazing into their glowing rectangles and you’ve got trouble brewing.

      • +1 on London. I grew up there and the bendy buses caused so many accidents. They were especially dangerous for cyclists.

  • Seattle has them and I fondly remembered the sights of them when it snowed. They’d jack knife and clog up the roads. There was one storm in 2003/4 and several arteries by REI were completely clogged with nearly a dozen bendy buses.

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