Action Policy on taking buses with faulty a/c out of service

Started by ajw373, January 16, 2014, 04:28:41 PM

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ajw373

Just curious what the policy is at Action for taking buses with faulty a/c out of service? Reason I ask is I just got 507 from the City to Belconnen and the a/c was blowing hot air. When I stepped off the thing I just wanted to throw up.

Now whilst of course older buses, such as the PR100.2 I got just before 507 have no a/c, they do at least have windows and roof hatches that open to let in fresh air which makes riding on such a bus on days like today (temp circa 40) bearable. IMO 507 should not have been in service on a day like this with faulty a/c.

PS one passenger opened the hatch in the trailer section and the driver came down and shut it saying it was an emergency exit only. Now whilst no doubt that is the primary purpose why could it not have been left open to at least get some air in?

The Love Guru

Opening the roof hatch has no effect as it pulls in the same temperature air as the air conditioning system.

As for buses with A/C not working. If it is not working in the depot it gets logged. If it fails in service is at the drivers discretion to decide if the conditions are suitable to continue in service. On a day like today, I would not operate a bus with defective air conditioning. Of course if that were to happen then the bus you caught wouldn't have turned up! So you are damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Buzz Killington

At least with the roof hatch open you'll get some air movement, even if it doesn't provide any cooling effect. Being hot a one thing, being stuffy is another.

Have to agree with ajw - if the air con is stuffed, a Renault with opening windows is preferable. I caught a steer tag earlier in the week (473?) that didn't have air con. I ended up getting off early because I'm quite sure I would have ended up with a headache or throwing up if i had stayed on that bus. It was like a sauna in there and a relief to get off the bus.

The Love Guru

Opening Windows are certainly better than no air con. Problem with the roof hatches is the are located directly behind the air con unit so the front one serves no purpose.

As I said above, I wouldn't operate a service with the air con u/s on a hot day but I guess the driver thought that a hot bus was better than no bus at all.

743

Of course, 20 years ago you could basically get a Renault or a Merc turning up on your route. I often think it's funny how expectations can change in a relatively short time of human history!

ajw373

Quote from: 743 on January 17, 2014, 07:16:02 AM
Of course, 20 years ago you could basically get a Renault or a Merc turning up on your route. I often think it's funny how expectations can change in a relatively short time of human history!

I don't think you read what I wrote. My expectation isn't for there to be an airconditioned bus, as mentioned I was not fussed by the PR100.2 ride I had just before. Yes it was hot, yes it wasn't comfortable, but with some airflow from the open windows it was bearable.

The problem is with the new buses if the a/c fails there are no windows to open so the things get even hotter and stuffier to the point of it being unbearable and potentially dangerous for the passengers, especially on a day like yesterday.

PS As for expectations changing over time, so true. I remember when buses in this town didn't have drivers a/c, but reckon if you brought a new bus without it there would be an uproar.

Bus 400

I know one time I encountered this problem was back on a Redex bus. Where the driver warned everyone before they jumped on. Whennwe went past the ABC Building.  The display thete tead a temp of 38/39 while inside the bus read something lile 40/41. After the Citu the bus went express to tje Railway (where I was headed). Where another bus from Tuggeranong was brought up for a swap over.

743

Quote from: ajw373 on January 17, 2014, 07:48:21 AM
I don't think you read what I wrote. My expectation isn't for there to be an airconditioned bus, as mentioned I was not fussed by the PR100.2 ride I had just before. Yes it was hot, yes it wasn't comfortable, but with some airflow from the open windows it was bearable.

Sorry - what I meant to say was that it was a more general observation of everyone's attitudes given a number of public complaints to ACTION through Facebook and Twitter recently about the number of Renaults on the road. My bad!

Bidgee

Makes me wonder why the builder or the operator always think that windows are not needed on buses? Did someone forget that the days when there was no air-con, there were windows you could open. You'd think the same principle would apply today with air-con buses, keeping as many buses on the road with some sort of air movement is better then a few or none.

ajw373

Quote from: Bidgee on January 23, 2014, 09:20:19 PM
Makes me wonder why the builder or the operator always think that windows are not needed on buses? Did someone forget that the days when there was no air-con, there were windows you could open. You'd think the same principle would apply today with air-con buses, keeping as many buses on the road with some sort of air movement is better then a few or none.

Exactly. The B2 trams in Melbourne have aircon and opening windows, however for the windows to open the driver (or guess conductor back when they first started operation) need to use a square key to unlock them.

Out of interest I sent some feed back to Action and they said that the problem was a loose belt on the a/c unit. I find it hard to believe as it was an artic, which clearly has two separate a/c units and both were blowing hot air. They also called and said on that day they had 157 buses with a/c faults. Again a figure I find hard to believe, as there are only around 240 buses with a/c, not counting of course the older buses with driver only a/c.

Of course at the end of the day damned if you leave a bus in service, damned if you take it out. For me never in my life have I got off a bus feeling the first signs of heat exhaustion so IMO it should not have been in service.

The person I spoke to couldn't answer whether the hatch was considered an emergency exit only or could be used for ventilation. Now obviously if the a/c is working you don't want the sheep opening the hatches, so my guess is the 'policy' to close the hatches is because of this not because they are only an emergency exit.

Barry Drive

January 23, 2014, 09:59:39 PM #10 Last Edit: January 23, 2014, 10:27:35 PM by ACTbusspotter
Quote from: ajw373 on January 23, 2014, 09:30:01 PM
... they said that the problem was a loose belt on the a/c unit. I find it hard to believe as it was an artic, which clearly has two separate a/c units and both were blowing hot air. They also called and said on that day they had 157 buses with a/c faults.
No, it's an integrated unit (single compressor) designed for artics, which runs off a single belt from the engine.

I would be inclined to believe the 157 includes the driver-only air conditioners in the Renaults and Dennises.

Bidgee

Quote from: ajw373 on January 23, 2014, 09:30:01 PM
Exactly. The B2 trams in Melbourne have aircon and opening windows, however for the windows to open the driver (or guess conductor back when they first started operation) need to use a square key to unlock them.
Darwinbus have locks also, though the southern drivers always had a thing about having the temperature of the bus at 18c in the wet season. Freeze on the bus and then stew in the humid heat when you get off!

Quote
Of course at the end of the day damned if you leave a bus in service, damned if you take it out. For me never in my life have I got off a bus feeling the first signs of heat exhaustion so IMO it should not have been in service.
Ok for the driver who has a fan and a window, poor PAX is doomed if the bus has no open-able windows and the driver doesn't open the hatches.

Quote
The person I spoke to couldn't answer whether the hatch was considered an emergency exit only or could be used for ventilation. Now obviously if the a/c is working you don't want the sheep opening the hatches, so my guess is the 'policy' to close the hatches is because of this not because they are only an emergency exit.
I was told by a driver in NSW (not sure if this is true or not, so you've been warned) that it was illegal to have an emergency exit hatch (also called escape hatch [depending who you talk to]) open while in service, as they can only be used to help vent hot air when not in service and to be used only when a bus has tipped on its side.

ajw373

Quote from: ACTbusspotter on January 23, 2014, 09:59:39 PM
No, it's an integrated unit (single compressor) designed for artics, which runs off a single belt from the engine.

Of course, single compressor dual head units.

Barry Drive

January 24, 2014, 12:38:50 PM #13 Last Edit: January 24, 2014, 12:47:34 PM by ACTbusspotter
Bidgee, the Scania L94 CNGs have lockable windows at rear- not roof hatches. Didn't take long for locks to be vandalised and so become useless. This may explain why later builds removed opening windows.

With the air con buses, driver's cabin ac comes from same unit. Trust me, if it's not working driver will know - an opening window during heat does not help.

Drivers cannot adjust ACTION's air con units. They are (in theory) set at 22° all year. Only control driver has is on/off.

There is nothing in the ACT regulations about roof hatches/exit hatches. There is, however a regulation that the driver MUST ensure air conditioning is working while bus is carrying passengers.

ajw373

Quote from: ACTbusspotter on January 24, 2014, 12:38:50 PM
an opening window during heat does not help.

It certainly helped on the PR100.2 I caught just before 508. Whilst still hot there was at least some fresh air to breathe.

smitho

Quote from: ACTbusspotter on January 24, 2014, 12:38:50 PM

Drivers cannot adjust ACTION's air con units. They are (in theory) set at 22° all year. Only control driver has is on/off.


Noticed recently that (at least some of..) Scania gas buses have had their set temperature raised from 22 degrees to 23 degrees.

Buzz Killington

Quote from: ajw373 on January 24, 2014, 01:33:15 PM
It certainly helped on the PR100.2 I caught just before 508. Whilst still hot there was at least some fresh air to breathe.

Agree completely. I think I've said earlier that having air flow makes a difference, even of its 40.
The day I caught a steer tag with no air con it was 35+ and I felt ill within minutes and had to get off.

Busnerd


Quote from: Bidgee on January 23, 2014, 09:20:19 PM
Makes me wonder why the builder or the operator always think that windows are not needed on buses? Did someone forget that the days when there was no air-con, there were windows you could open. You'd think the same principle would apply today with air-con buses, keeping as many buses on the road with some sort of air movement is better then a few or none.

Not the manufacturers fault in that case. It is up to the operator to spec their vehicles how they want. Opening windows are still an option and some operators still order buses with a few opening windows however most don't. Buses with the few hopper windows can at least be opened as a fail safe in the event of A/C failure on a hot day and in the end would probably be better off spending the extra money doing that than wasting other be hikes and drivers doing changeovers or cancelling services.

The roof hatch issue I would probably put down to driver discretion. Whilst is is an emergency exit (if completely popped out of the roof) it can also be pushed open to allow some "emergency ventilation" however you have to be a bit more gentle with the hatches these days as they can easily break free.

smitho

472 has an interesting air conditioning issue at the moment....it either blows a very cool (but noisy) gale throughout the bus (which most likely chills some people to the bone pretty quickly) or else the driver turns the system off altogether, bringing on a sticky, hot environment pretty quickly.

Barry Drive

I hope 472 was logged. Sounds like either the air con temperature has been set too low or the thermostat is faulty. Very unusual for a STAG to have effective cooling though.

smitho

Most of the Tuggy Stags have pretty effective air conditioning, even in the driver's cab area.