Paper presented at the 20th Annual South African Transport Conference 16 - 20 July 2001 "Meeting the transport challenges in Southern Africa", CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa. ABSTRACT: The advent of low floor bus technology has raised the profile of the bus mode of public transport throughout the developed world. The fact that people no longer have to negotiate steps when
boarding and alighting makes getting on and off the bus easier and quicker for all passengers. It also makes it possible for persons with disabilities to use the mainstream public transport service
and since it is accessible to more people, there is the potential for more off-peak trips to be made.
Shorter dwell time at stops raises the productivity of staff and equipment and can also lead to a reduction in harmful exhaust emissions. User response to the introduction of low floor buses is overwhelmingly positive and bus services that use these vehicles have the potential to effectively
compete with the private car for patronage from non-captive public transport users.
Low floor buses are part of an end-to-end service delivery chain,which also includes infrastructure, the ticketing system, information and marketing, driver training as well as traffic management and
enforcement. Higher initial capital cost of new buses is offset by higher productivity and lower lifecycle costs.
The use of low floor buses has become the norm in the developed world. A demonstration project undertaken in Cape Town has shown that low floor buses can be deployed in South African cities with the same measure of success experienced elsewhere in the world.
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