I was referring more to the semi-automatic transmissions used on government buses over the years. Certainly the modern transmission, notably ZF, has done a lot to iron out the up-changes almost to electric vehicle standard. The down-changes are probably an unsolvable issue.
But there's certainly a driving "culture" among Sydney government bus drivers that stands out. In the 1960s when many of them were ex tram drivers, it was a bit of a thrill and moved the buses along like the trams used to move, but the excitment has worn off as traffic (and the hard braking) has increased. I haven't experienced driving as bad as in Sydney most places I've been, including privates in northern and western Sydney, Wollongong and, more recently, an extensive lot of bus-riding in Perth.
I think it's something to do with that thing called "customer focus". Sydney government bus drivers just don't have it (including what comes out of the mouths of some of them). I hope management by a private will change this.
---InTramsDownUnder@..., <matthew@...> wrote : 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.