AC Transit Rolls Double Decker Bus In Pilot Program

Feb. 19, 2015

AC Transit will unveil a 42-foot, double-decker bus in regular daily service on Feb.23, as part of a three-week pilot program.  The 80-seat coach, offering its riders comfy excursions with spectacular views — particularly to and from San Francisco — will make its  first cruise on the Line U, from Fremont to Stanford University, before being deployed on other daily routes.

It will be the first public look at the sleek, high-capacity vehicle as it begins its trial trek, crisscrossing the Bay and along city streets. The idea is for AC Transit to gauge customer reaction, assess how well the bus functions and ultimately determine whether the bus will be permanently added to its fleet.

“We have been operating Transbay service for more than 50 years, and we want to look at what is the best vehicle that best fits us now, given our current needs,” said AC Transit General Manager David Armijo. “We’ve tried a lot of different kinds of coaches. But, until now, we haven’t tried this one.”

For a close-up view, on Feb. 25, the bus will be on display for the media and the public in front of AC Transit’s headquarters.

The bus offers panoramic views, foot rests,  soft reclining seats on its upper deck and an upgraded surveillance system to assist the driver. And there will be free fares for all who board during its three-week odyssey. There will also be ambassadors aboard each run, answering questions, ensuring passenger safety and distributing written surveys for riders’ feedback.

To experience the ride first-hand and get customer reaction, on Feb. 27, AC Transit’s Board Members, along with Armijo and Metropolitan Transportation Commission Executive Director Steve Heminger, and SPUR Director Robert Ogilvie will ride the double-decker. They will travel on the FS Line leaving at 8:18 a.m. from Shattuck and University avenues in Berkeley, arriving at 8:47 a.m. at the Transbay Temporary Terminal in San Francisco where they will be greeted by Maria Ayerdi-Kaplan, executive director of the Transbay Joint Powers Authority.

Until March 6, the bus will be on display at the terminal from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.