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New Zealand’s first triple-decker bus to hit the streets

Sunday 1 Apr 2012 1:02 p.m.

Intercity Coachlines will launch a triple-decker bus

Intercity Coachlines will launch a triple-decker bus

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Disclaimer: For those that have not cottoned on, the following was put up as an April Fools Day joke.

Intercity Coachlines has announced today it is to launch a fleet of triple-decker buses that will reach a height of seven metres, the equivalent of five stacked cars.

The company has attributed the new fleet to rising numbers of passengers and greater demands for entertainment and sleeping options, and say the buses will be equipped with “all the modern amenities of home”.

The venture has seen an investment of around $50 million and InterCity Group CEO Malcolm Johns says it is worth every cent.

“The economies of scale are significant when adding an additional level to our standard vehicles and the extra floor space enables us to introduce sleeping options as well as a lounge/bar area,” says Mr Johns.

Mr Johns says the company has spent the past two years consulting with engineers from the Transport Agency of New Zealand to map and classify low height obstacles around the highway network.

This identified several tree branches that would require remedial work. He says the company has been through the consultation process with land owners and he is confident those issues will be addressed before the first vehicle takes to the roads.

Transport Agency of New Zealand spokesperson April Rhodes said they were impressed with the work InterCity had completed before approaching the agency.

She said the new vehicles would provide a material uplift to long distance public transport in New Zealand.

The buses will reach a height of seven metres and have a length of 17m, with the first buses of the fleet due to start operating in August, on InterCity’s Auckland to Wellington routes.

The buses are not without controversy, however, and transport expert A Fool has expressed doubts as to whether passengers will embrace the concept of triple-decker buses.

“Double-decker buses are one thing, but it may take some time for motorists to get used to having triple-decker buses on the road,” says Mr Fool.

“They really have to be seen to be believed.”

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