On 20/05/17 08:12,prescottt@... [TramsDownUnder] wrote:
> Jerky acceleration and braking is the hallmark of the Sydney
> government bus driving style, not really road surfaces. It's probably
> the worst I've experienced anywhere. Their driver training manual
> would be an interesting read. Their habit of selecting a higher gear
> on takeoff and sending boarding passengers flying down the back of the
> bus was particularly endearing over the years. Will a new private
> operator be able to teach old dogs new tricks, that's the question?
The buses mostly have automatic transmissions. I don't think the driver gets to choose what gear to take off in, the transmission decides that. Some decide badly.
I've seen (heard!) some drivers feathering the throttle causing the transmission to change gear constantly, but I've seen 'private' drivers do that as much as STA drivers.
Yes there are some drivers who try to drive a bus like a race car - accelerate hard/brake hard - but the name on the top of their pay slip isn't going to change that.
You have commented before about how state of the arttram traction controllers can 'filter' out the variations of individual driving style ( c.f. rough starts and stops on some E class trams). The modern transmissions on buses should be able to do the same, and I believe some of the more 'advanced' varieties out of Europe, do.
Same with rough riding. Many blame our roads, saying the roads over seas are better. Might be the case in the UK (UK roads are well maintained, especially compared with us!), but many urban route buses in Europe have something else to cope with - 1000 year old cobbled streets. You want rough, try medieval cobbles.
In Torino a few years back I was on a tram replacement bus trying to make up time. I don't think our bottoms actually spent much time on the seats. The bus was racing down a cobbled curb side lane, desperately trying to keep the time a tram on a centre reservation would do. And I think Italians treat urban driving as some sort of extreme sport.