Oakland, Calif.’s AC Transit unveiled a 42-foot, Alexander Dennis double-decker bus in regular daily service Monday, 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 — made its first cruise on the Line U, from Fremont to Stanford University, before being deployed on other daily routes. 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 GM David Armijo. “We’ve tried a lot of different kinds of coaches. But, until now, we haven’t tried this one.”
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.