I'll add here that 100% low floor buses have been a European standard for decades. So, I'd be curious to see any North American companies (of which their European subsidiaries and parents) manufacture 100% low floor buses and their reasoning for not doing so here.I basically agree, but wonder about conflicts with accessibility regulations where a reader may be seen to impede someone's ability to hold on.
I think for safety, if nothing else, I strongly prefer transit where everyone has a seat; I realize that's more expensive, and few systems run like that in the real world, nonetheless.....
While I do prioritize riders having seats vs standing, I think that's better resolved through greater vehicle frequency/service than a poor circulation layout.
The biggest impediment to proper layout in our buses, to my mind, is the mixed height floors. I think a 100% low-floor model would be preferable.
The mixed height model creates dead-space on the stairs, and tends to result in under utilization of the rear of the bus, because many people don't want to use stairs, some for entirely legitimate reasons (proneness to falling as an example). Additionally, people with strollers, bundle buggies, and mobility aids can't access that space, the poor sightline from the rest of the bus means people can' necessarily see if there's any open seats up top either.
To our transit vehicle experts here; what's in the market now by way of 100% low-floor? Is there a significant price difference vs our current rolling stock? I assume part of the issue w/going 100% low-floor would a change in garage-set up for how buses are maintained...... are there any other barriers to switching?