Friday, November 6, 2015

Part 6 of an installment, exclusive to This Crazy Train, "Meet the Deckers"

Editor's note: If you have had issues while aboard a Double Decker bus, or have a story about a Double Decker experience, drop me a line at

Special to This Crazy Train

Paging Mr. Clean
by GO Voyageur

Ali Gator normally writes these articles, but over a beer a couple of weeks ago, he suggested I submit this story, because of the photos I had amassed.

First, let’s run the newsreel from April 3, 2013.  Glen Murray, then Minister of Transportation, was positively gaga over the new Enviro500 double-decker buses (#8101—8125) purchased by GO Transit from Alexander Dennis Ltd.  Even more of these buses were acquired; the equipment numbers are now north of 8200.

With all the hoopla over these vehicles, you’d think the very least GO Transit would do is keep the minister’s pride and joy buses clean.  Wrong!

I’m not referring to the occasional spilt beer in the rear of the upper saloon, or a youngster dumping their soft drink. I’m referring to the continual filth due to neglect by the maintenance staff.  Why isn’t the acrylic glass on the stairway cleaned more often?  Who wants to look at the following mess for an hour or more?

BTW, that’s not an isolated incident.  Here are more:

Let’s compare GO’s buses to one from Niagara Region Transit.  This one looks clean; it had been on the road for half a shift before I snapped the photo:

And peering into the bus, I noted that the windows were spotless — on both sides.

Let’s compare that to DD # 8142 this weekend.

Did someone take this baby off-roading and forget to run it through the wash bay?  Looks can be deceiving.  That grime isn’t on the outside of the bus; it’s on the inside of the window!

Is that the worst of it?  Nope.  It’s time to get serious.  Have you ever examined the air vents on the double-deckers?  Look closely at the following photo.

What are those soot marks to the front and rear?  Most air vents I’ve looked at have those dark stains on the ceiling.  Is this dirt being forced in from the engine compartment?  Let’s recall that OC Transpo’s deckers had issues with fumes inside some of their buses.  Does this happen, too, with GO Transit’s DDs?  Yes.  Fumes inside the bus precipitated the following email alert.

If the ventilation system is indeed pumping dirt into the bus, then it must be settling somewhere, and it should be detectable.  A quick wipe of the front dashboard with a paper towel provided the answer.

Exactly what is this soot, and what is its source?  How much of a health hazard is this crud, not only for passengers but especially for drivers?  Maybe it’s time for the mainstream media to investigate this problem as a matter of public concern.


Anonymous said...

Um... it's up to the bus drivers to clean the buses so if there's such a concern for health, they obviously don't care about their own, never mind passengers? And also has anyone written to GO directly to complain or is putting it on the internet the norm now?

C.J. Smith said...

Metrolinx brass and GO in charge people read this site so technically, this is the norm.
Thanks for the input.

Anonymous said...

They certainly do look very dirty & not the corporate professional image the Metrolinx was thinking of.
Is the the Bus drivers responsibility for cleaning the Bus? NO!
Do you see a mop, Broom, bucket etc on the bus? NO.
The driver is the help maintain a clean bus by removing papers from seats etc when possible.
Drivers (and not all) clean their own driving area.
Hope that helps clear that up

Franky Four Fingers

Anonymous said...

Anonymous FYI it isn't up to the Operator to clean the bus. Operators only have 15 minutes to circle check their bus prior to leaving the garage. If buses are dirty 90% is because of the passengers themselves. But you are correct that they should be cleaned better than they have been. Especially the air vents.

Anonymous said...

To add salt in the wound, go transit hires bus cleaners on a contract basis. In fact, they're hiring some right now, as of writing this message.

Tal Hartsfeld said...

The things they expect us all to be "okay with".

Anonymous said...

I have never ever seen a GO employee clean interior windows of a Bus.
I have seen some drivers bring in their own cleaning products in order to make it a little more pleasant inside the bus.

Anonymous said...

Niagara Region Transit buses only about 3-5 passengers every time I see one, so it would be cleaner.