Double-deckers roll out

  • By Sharon Salyer Herald Writer
  • Friday, April 1, 2011 12:01am
  • Local News

Community Transit’s popular “double talls,” those British-lookalike, double-decker buses, are back.

The first two double-talls rolled out Thursday on commuter routes in Snohomish County. They’re part of the total fleet 23 double-deckers that will go into service over the next two months, said

Tom Pearce, Community Transit spokesman.

On Thursday, the buses made stops in Seattle and in Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood, and Marysville. Eventually, they will run on most of the transit agency’s commuter routes.

The federally funded double-decker buses cost a total of $19 million, Pearce said, with each bus costing slightly more than $757,000.

“Passengers absolutely love riding these buses,” Pearce said. “It’s a completely different view when you’re sitting upstairs, especially sitting near the front window upstairs.

“In the past … we have had people go to the first bus stop try to be the first in lines so they could have that front seat,” he said.

The buses are 42 feet long and 14 feet tall, carrying 49 passengers on the upper level and 28 on the lower floor.

The buses have been popular with commuters since 2007, when the transit agency first leased a double-decker. It was a two-year test to see how practical the buses might be for regular commuter use.

The double-decker buses are more fuel efficient, Pearce said, in part because they carry more passengers — 77 as opposed to the 60 riders on the buses they are replacing.

The new buses also are cheaper to run because, like any new vehicle, they require less maintenance, he said. “You don’t have the issues that older engines encounter, whether it’s a car or a bus,” Pearce said.

The chassis of the buses are manufactured in England by Alexander Dennis Ltd., the same Scotland-based company that makes London’s trademark double-deckers. They are shipped to its California plant for final assembly.

They are replacing the agency’s oldest buses on commuter routes to Seattle — 60 foot articulated buses manufactured in 1998.

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486;

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