Sunshine Coast gets double decker

Commissioning a new double-decker bus is the latest attempt to increase bus patronage on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, where less than one percent of commuters use public transport.

Sunshine Coast Council announced late last week it had partnered with TransLink and Sunbus to launch the region’s first double-decker bus in a bid to elevate the profile of bus travel on the Sunshine Coast.

Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson says the double-decker, built by Bustech, will provide visitors and commuters a modern and sustainable travel experience with views from the top deck.

“This bus has been manufactured in Queensland and represents world-class design and functionality when it comes to bus transport – we’re encouraging people to make the most of the double-decker during the next couple of months, particularly over the busy festive season,” Jamieson says.

The new double-decker bus is the latest of a suite of initiatives to increase bus patronage on the Sunshine Coast, where council estimates less than one percent of commuters use public transport.

The bus will run from December 3 until February 1, 2013, operating every day on various Sunbus service routes from Caloundra to Noosa.

Transport Strategy Portfolio Councillor Rick Baberowski says council hopes the double-decker will boost public transport use during the Christmas holiday period.

“We’re delighted to have this bus on the Sunshine Coast – hopefully while here it will grab people’s attention and encourage new users onto our public transport network, perhaps even for the first time,” he says.

The Bustech bus can carry 96 passengers, is one of only two of its kind in Australia, meets Euro 5 vehicle emission standards, and has a video monitor on the lower floor showing seat availability on the top deck.

A return of double-decker buses to NSW was announced in August with a trial of a Bustech double-decker operated by Busways on the North West transit way.

Sydney’s two leading bus builders – Volgren and Custom – expressed surprise at the announcement of a NSW double decker trial using a Queensland-built bus.

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