AUSTIN (KXAN) — A piece of London is coming to the streets of Austin. Capital Metro is launching a test double-decker bus as part of its regular MetroExpress service starting on Monday, Oct. 31.
The bus, built by leading British bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis, will be used to see if double-decker buses are a feasible option on commuter heavy routes like Interstate 35, MoPac Expressway and U.S. 183. While the pilot program is only two weeks long, passengers will be able to ride the double-decker for free.
You can get a first look at the bus as it travels its inaugural trek along Route 935 from the Tech Ridge Park & Ride to Riverside Drive. The bus will serve as an additional vehicle on the route, operating around five minutes ahead of the regular Route 935 bus, the Tech Ridge Express.
The brand new bus seats 89 riders and can hold 100 total. Capital Metro’s typical buses seat 36 riders and can carry 15 more standing passengers. The bus is American Disabilities Act-compliant, completely covered and has a bicycle rack.
Passengers on the upper deck will get to enjoy panoramic views, footrests and soft reclining seats.
Surveys will be conducted during the trial period to see how much support there is for a full-time double-decker bus service. Reviews from riders, bus operators and maintenance staff will be compiled and reviewed. Those reviews will then make their way to the Capital Metro board of directors with findings and recommendations.