Volvo Super Olympian
The Volvo Super Olympian was a low-floor double-decker bus manufactured by Volvo. It replaced the 3-axle version of Volvo Olympian; the chassis had the designated manufacturer code B10TL. The Volvo Super Olympian was unveiled in 1998, with one chassis being sent to Hong Kong for a motor show held by International Union of Public Transport in the same year; the chassis was returned to the United Kingdom. The Super Olympian chassis was based on the Volvo Olympian; the front radiator was moved behind the front axle on the 12 metre version, or in front of the second axle for the 10.6 metre version. In order to lower the chassis further, the assisted steering function of the middle axle was cancelled; the suspension system has been modified so that it is electronically controlled instead of moving passively. One special feature is that after turning, the suspension unit does not return to normal, remaining tilted to either the left or right, until the bus becomes stationary. An option for 11.3 metre length of Super Olympian was available, but no orders were received.
The Super Olympian was powered with a maximum power of 285 hp. Its somewhat insufficient engine power has earned some mildly derisive nicknames in Hong Kong; the most common are "豬", "扒" and "豬扒". The Super Olympian chassis were built in Volvo's factory in Irvine, Scotland. After the closure of the factory in mid-2000, production was moved to Poland. Kowloon Motor Bus ordered the first batch of 61 Alexander ALX500 bodied B10TL Super Olympians with ZF 4HP590 transmission, roller shuttle route displays in 1998; these entered service in 1998/99. All except the prototype 3ASV3 had narrow 2+2 seats on the upper deck; the first buses were retired in November 2017. A further 80 Super Olympians entered service in 2000/01; these buses have ZF 5HP590 transmission. 3ASV78 was the 3,000th Alexander bodied bus supplied to KMB, 3ASV141 was the first KMB bus to meet Euro III emission standards. The last 351 Super Olympians, including 21 which were fitted with Australian Volgren CR223LD bodywork, entered service in 2001/02.
All of these buses had their chassis built in Poland. Their D10A285 engines were built to meet Euro III emission standards and had aluminium alloy front wheels supplied by Alcoa. 3ASV297 was coated with special metallic paint, which shows different colours, depending on the angle of light reflection. Kowloon Motor Bus was the only buyer of 10.6 metre Super Olympians. The first 49 10.6m Alexander ALX500 bodied Super Olympians were introduced in 2001. They had Alcoa front wheels. ASV50, put into service in 2002, is a prototype short-wheelbase Super Olympian, the only short-wheelbase Super Olympian built in Scotland, it is equipped with a Euro III D10A285 engine and ZF 4HP590 transmission rather than the previous 5HP590 as fitted to older ASVs. ASV51-100 were equipped with the Euro III D10A285 engines, they are identical with ASV1-49, except for minor interior differences. Only the first 24 were put into service in 2003; the remaining 26 were stored for more than a year, they were put into service between September 2004 and March 2005.
In January 2003, Kowloon Motor Bus received the first Wright-bodied Super Olympian with a 2.55 metre-wide body. Like the Alexander Dennis Enviro500, it featured a straight plug exit door, it was numbered AVW1 and was registered on 20 March 2003. The next 49 buses with a different design followed shortly after AVW1, they entered service in 2003/04; the last 50 buses, which are identical, entered service in 2004/05, These were the last batch of Volvo Super Olympian ordered by KMB. New World First Bus bought 103 Super Olympians in five batches, all are 12 metres long and were fitted with Alexander ALX500 bodies; the first 40, fitted with electronic route displays, were introduced in 1999. The next 20, with their side route number boxes moved to a lower position, entered service in 2000/01; the chassis of 5060 was the first to be built in Poland. New World First Bus began de-registering the buses on 21 November 2017; the next 19 Super Olympians, with Euro III D10A285 engines and Alcoa front wheels, entered service in 2001.
To mark the occasion of meeting the Euro III emission standard, New World First Bus designed a full body advertisement for one of them to state that they were environmentally friendly. They were followed by 10 similar examples that year. Among these buses, 5080-5086 had their registration numbers originated from ex China Motor Bus buses and service cars; the last batch of 14 Super Olympians, entered service in 2002, had their rear electronic route number displays raised above the emergency window to form a box, the design being unique among all similar vehicles in Hong Kong. Super Olympians were purchased by Singapore Bus Service. In late 1999, Volvo delivered one Volgren CR222LD-bodied Super Olympian as a demonstrator, it was the first wheelchair-accessible transition bus in Singapore. The bus was introduced on 16 January 2000 and deployed into the then-SBS Service 502 shortened on 27 July 2003. SBS Service 502 was the first wheelchair-accessible bus service, it was burnt in Ang Mo Kio Bus Depot fire on 7 March 2010 along with five other double-decker buses.
Singapore Bus Service ordered a further 51 Volvo Super Olympian chassis
Discovery Bay is a mixed residential, development consisting of upmarket residential development and private and public recreational facilities in Hong Kong. Located on Lantau Island, including the Tai Pak Bay and Yi Pak Bay, Discovery Bay covers a land area of 649 hectares and is a integrated resort style residential project comprising garden houses, low-, mid- and high-rise residential developments, a 27-hole golf course, a 262-berth marina, two clubhouses, the first private manmade beach in Hong Kong, international schools, two shopping malls and the largest oceanfront alfresco dining area in Hong Kong; the 2016 census record 20,271 people living at DB. DB is located 2 km west of Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and 12 km west from the nearest point on Hong Kong Island; as of April 2018, Discovery Bay consists of 15 residential development phases with properties ranging from garden houses to low-, mid- and high-rise. The development features a 400-metre-long owned beach, four private membership clubs including a golf club and a marina club and a public park.
Discovery Bay is a key community in Lantau Island and enjoys a low plot ratio of 0.15. Pets are allowed in Discovery Bay. In May 1973, the Hong Kong Resort Company was established by Edward Wong Wing-cheung, a Hong Kong merchant. Following two years of planning and negotiation, a'Master Plan' was agreed in December 1975 between HKR and the Hong Kong government. By New Grant No. 6122 of 10 September 1976, HKR agreed to surrender title to 800 Hong Kong properties, in total amounting to over 6.6 million square feet of New Territories agricultural land and buildings, in exchange for ten times that area at Discovery Bay. The plan called for development, on Lot 385 at Tai Pak Wan, of "membership club houses and a leisure resort and associated facilities which shall include an hotel or hotels... a cable-car system... and a non-membership golf course..." In addition, HKR handed over HK$61.5 million in exchange for the grant and undertook to spend no less than another HK$600 million on development within 10 years of the grant.
Within months, Wong had got into financial difficulty facing a writ, filed in Hong Kong on 1 April 1977, by the Soviet-government controlled Moscow Narodny Bank Limited for return of US$7 million advanced in 1973 and, in the guise of his Panamanian bank holding company, Paclantic Financing Co. Inc. facing the same creditor demanding US$22.12 million in proceedings in Panama. Both the Chinese and British governments were concerned to prevent the property rights to the single largest piece of controlled land in Hong Kong falling into the hands of the Russian bank during times of deepening political uncertainty for Hong Kong. Sir David Akers-Jones, then-Secretary for the New Territories, led the government's efforts to avert that prospect, steering HKR into the hands of Hong Kong-based Chinese industrialist Cha Chi-ming. Having lost control of HKR and facing bankruptcy proceedings, Wong left Hong Kong, in January 1977 while mooting the establishment of a Pacific Atlantic Bank of Miami and going into the casino business with the Anderson group of whom one Robert B Anderson, of One Rockefeller Plaza, had been a fellow director on the HKR board.
The Cha family, up to better known for running China Dyeing Works Ltd, an international textile group, purchased HKR in May 1977. By 1979 all debts were paid off and work started on the reservoir and the core infrastructure but for a different sort of project – a residential community offering a relaxed lifestyle; this decision was revisited in 2004 when it was discovered that Akers-Jones did not seek approval from the Executive Council for the deviation from the terms of the Land Grant. In a 2004 report by the government's Audit Commission, the Lands Department was criticized for allowing this to happen since Akers-Jones did not call on HKR under Cha to pay any additional land premium. After retiring from government, in 2000 Akers-Jones joined the board of Mingly Corporation controlled by Cha. Unlike other large Hong Kong developments, everything in DB was built with private money, including roads and the water supply; the government-operated fire and police station, community hall and the government-aided primary school were built by the developer.
These developments have to be approved and checked by the government with the official Master Plan version 6.0a in 2003, including the major extension in 2003 in Yi Pak Wan. DB was developed in phases and the developer, HKR, envisages that DB will be home to 25,000 residents; the following data applies as of April 2008: Community life centres on two commercial hubs: DB Plaza and DB North Plaza. DB Plaza features a bus terminus, ferry pier, an open piazza, a range of shops and dental clinics, a veterinary surgery; the two plazas each have a supermarket and a range of international themed restaurants and food outlets. Amenities include: a beach at Tai Pak Bay. A Community Centre / Indoor Recreation Centre was completed in 2007, seven years after the exten
Kowloon Motor Bus
The Kowloon Motor Bus Company Limited, is a bus company operating franchised services in Hong Kong. It is the largest bus company in Hong Kong by fleet number of bus routes, it is a subsidiary of Transport International. KMB was founded on 13 April 1933 as a result of the reformation of public transport by the Hong Kong Government. Before the reformation, there were several independent bus operators working on both sides of Victoria Harbour including KMB; the Hong Kong Government enforces the bus franchises in favour of the franchisees, while it prosecutes the operators of unauthorized private bus services and other types of authorized bus service that pick up or drop off passengers in franchised bus parking zones. The KMB franchise allowed for the operation of public omnibus service on the Kowloon side as well as the New Territories. By 11 June 1933, KMB had a fleet of 106 single-deck buses; the founding members of KMB were: Tang Shiu Kin William Louey Sui Tak Lui Leung Tam Woon Tong Lam Ming Fan By December 1941, KMB had 140 single-deckers operating on 17 routes.
As only a handful of buses survived World War II, some lorries were temporarily converted into buses. By the late 1940s, KMB ridership increased with the huge influx of immigration from China. In 1949, KMB bought 20 Daimler double-deckers from England, becoming the first operator of double-deckers in Hong Kong. Following the opening of the Cross Harbour Tunnel in 1972, KMB operated a number of cross-harbour routes jointly with China Motor Bus, the sole bus operator on Hong Kong Island; this marked. In the same year, KMB began experimenting with buses operating without a fare collector. All passengers would board from the front door and pay the fare by putting money into the collection box next to the driver. In 1996, KMB launched an advertising campaign to promote modern image, it is the first bus company advertising in Hong Kong. On 1 June 1997, KMB formed a subsidiary, Long Win Bus, to provide service on the Lantau Link to the new Hong Kong International Airport and Tung Chung. In 1998, KMB extended its business into mainland China with a co-operative joint venture, Dalian Hong Kong Macau Company.
In 1999, KMB started to operate some KCR Feeder Bus routes, which are complimentary to passengers of the KCR East Rail. In July 2007, KMB commenced operating a 10-year franchise, that has since been renewed until June 2027; as at December 2017, KMB operated 397 routes in Kowloon and the New Territories, operates cross-harbour tunnel routes in co-operation with the two other bus operators Citybus and New World First Bus. Passengers pay the fare in cash or using an Octopus card, a smart card payment system. Discounts apply for Octopus users on specified route interchange combinations. To enable elderly people and eligible persons with disabilities to travel on the general Mass Transit Railway lines, franchised buses and ferries are charged concessionary fare of $2 per trip, starting from 2012; the scheme aims to help build a caring and inclusive society by encouraging these groups to participate more in community activities. As of December 2017, Kowloon Motor Bus operated a fleet of 3,972 predominately double-decker buses.
KMB traditionally purchased buses from English manufacturers including AEC, Dennis, Guy Motors, Metro Cammell Weymann and Seddon, that either were bodied in England or locally. In 1975, the first air-conditioned bus in Hong Kong was put into service by KMB. Following the testing of double-deck air-conditioned buses Victory and Jubilant in the early 1980s, KMB became the world's first operator of such buses. All purchases after 1995 were for air-conditioned buses. In May 2012, KMB withdrew its last non-air-conditioned buses from service. In the late 1970s, it began to purchase chassis from European manufacturers MAN, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo. KMB original liveries were combinations of cream. In the early 1990s, a white and grey livery was introduced for air-conditioned buses, followed in 1997 by a champagne livery. In June 2017 a red and silver livery was introduced. KMB operate four depots in the New Territories; the depot of a bus is identified by the letter K, L, S, or U, the letter is marked on the bottom left of the driver's windscreen or below windscreen.
The assignment scheme is as follows: K: Kowloon Bay depot L: Lai Chi Kok depot S: Sha Tin depot U: Formerly Un Long depot Tuen Mun depot Kowloon Motor Bus has a Hong Kong football club, Kowloon Motor Bus Co. It joined Hong Kong First Division League in the 1947/48 season. Nicknamed "Atomic Bus", the team obtained the only two league titles in 1953/54 and 1966/67; the team attained its peak in the 1950s and 1960s when the "South China - Kowloon Motor Bus Co. crash" was one of the highlighted rival matches in Hong Kong. In 1970/71, the team faced their first relegation, but was able to stay in the First Division as Jardines quit the league in the following season. However, the team were relegated in 1972/73, it made its last First Division League appearance in 1976/77, but was relegated after only one season. The football team quit the league in 1981 and reformed in 2017. 2018 Hong Kong bus accident The Bus Uncle – a 2006 incident filmed on a KMB bus that became an internet phenomenon Transport in Hong Kong Ko, Tim-keung.
80 Years with KMB. Hong Kong: Joint Publishing. ISBN 9789620434907. Official website Historic photos on Flickr
Delaine Buses is a bus operator based in Bourne, England. In 1890 William Smith began a horse drawn passenger service. After a taxi operation commenced in 1910, a 14-seat Ford Model T bus was purchased in 1919 and services commenced to Grantham and Stamford. In May 1941 the business was incorporated; as at October 2013 Delaine Buses operated eight bus routes. From the 1930s to the 1990s, the majority of vehicles in the Delaine fleet were of Bedford or Leyland manufacture. Since 1995 Delaine has standardised on Volvos with East Lancs body, followed by switching over to Wrights in 2009 after East Lancs has merged with Optare; as of September 2014 the fleet consisted of 26 buses. A heritage fleet is maintained. List of bus operators of the United Kingdom Moore, Peter. Delaine - 120 Years of Service. Venture Publications. ISBN 978-1905304387. Media related to Delaine Buses at Wikimedia Commons Company website Showbus gallery
London General is a bus company operating services in Greater London. It is a subsidiary of the Go-Ahead Group and operates most buses under contract to Transport for London; the company is named after the London General Omnibus Company, the principal operator of buses in London between 1855 and 1933. The modern-day London General commenced operating on 1 April 1989 when London Buses was divided into 11 separate business units, its original logo being an omnibus in reflection of the name's history. In 1994 the company was sold in a management buyout, before being sold to the Go-Ahead Group in May 1996; the company moved its offices to an address in Merton, adjacent to the Merton bus garage. In August 2008, Go-Ahead's London bus operations all adopted the Go-Ahead London trading name, although the individual company names are still applied beneath the logo. In October 2009, Go-Ahead completed the purchase of East Thames Buses from Transport for London and incorporated it into London General. Although Transport for London's normal practice is to put routes out for tender, London General began a new five-year contract for all East Thames Buses routes without going through the tendering process.
In March 2012, First London's Northumberland Park garage was purchased. On 1 April 2014, the London operations of Metrobus depots in Croydon and Orpington were integrated into London General. On 25 April 2014, the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency formally increased London General's licence to accommodate the Metrobus buses. However, as at September 2014, the buses continued to carry Metrobus branding. London General operates 9 bus garages; as at October 2017, Sutton garage operate routes 80, 93, 151, 154, 164, 213 and N155. Opened by the London General Omnibus Company in January 1924 at cost of £30,000, Sutton garage had a capacity for 100 buses. During its early years, less than half of the garage was put to use, holding only 40 buses by 1926; this would change somewhat by the extension of the Underground to Morden and major house-building projects in the area. Between 1945 and 1953, it had an allocation of 100 Utility Daimlers numbered from D182 - D281. By 1952, the garage had 128 buses allocated, achieved by parking buses in surrounding streets.
However, this would soon fall again, to 100 in 1966, 82 in 1976 and 62 in 1987. The garage passed to the reborn London General bus company in the run-up to privatisation in 1985. Sutton Garage partly took control of route 200 at a yard in Colliers Wood in 1989, after Cityrama withdrew from their contract. Sutton was responsible for providing drivers for the service, whilst Merton garage were contracted to do the maintenance. By 1994, the garage allocation had grown to 85 buses and again to 92 in 2001, including 10 buses subcontracted to Surrey County Council. Sutton helped when Carshalton garage closed in 1964; as of October 2017, Putney garage operate routes 14, 22, 74, 337, 424, 430, 485, 639, 670, N22 and N74. With its ancestry going back to the horse bus days of the 1880s, Chelverton Road Garage was converted to a motor-bus garage in 1912; the garage is well hidden in a side road with a modest frontage, yet it has an allocation of 112. It has been modernised twice, firstly in 1935 and again in 1985.
The garage was well known for being allocated the pre-war RTs in 1940. During the war the garage was used to store de-licensed buses. Renamed Putney in 1963 after the closure of Putney Bridge garage it started to receive both short and long wheelbase AEC Routemasters for its central London routes; the Routemasters remained at the garage until July 2005 when both the 14 and 22 were converted to low floor one-person-operated buses. As of October 2017, Merton garage operate routes 44, 57, 131, 152, 163, 164, 200, 219, 270, 280 and 655, it runs the St. Bede's School private bus services 514 and 519, which run between the Caterham area and the school, on behalf of Surrey County Council; the garage was modernised in 1960, again in 1991 when a new roof was fitted and various stores and welfare areas were moved to provide a larger, unobstructed parking area, long and narrow. Merton was responsible for the maintenance of vehicles for route 200 in 1988/9 after the withdrawal of the Cityrama sightseeing company, whilst the route was operated from Sutton garage.
The garage has become Go-Ahead London's head office, following the sale of Raleigh House and the acquisition of the former pub next door. As at August 2017, Croydon garage operate routes 119, 127, 202, 355, 359, 405, 434, 455 and X26 The Beddington Lane depot was opened by Metrobus in December 2005 to house route 127, surrendered early by Centra. Work was completed on the garage buildings in February 2006; this garage took over the London routes that ran from Godstone with the exception of the 146 and 246 which moved to Orpington. As of March 2018, the Green Street Green garage operate routes 126, 138, 162, 233, 246, 320, 352, 353, 358, 654, R1, R2, R3, R4, R6, R8, R9 and R11. A former farm, Green Street Green depot was for many years the only garage for all of Metrobus' London tendered routes since the award of route 61 in 1986. More routes have been operated from Godstone and in December 2005 a new depot was constructed in Croydon to cope with new tender awards. During mid-2005 major reconstruction started on the Green Street Green site to make improvements and provide an expansion.
During these works, a temporary base was being used at Sevenoaks in next to the base of what was Southlands Travel. As at April 2019, Northumberland Park garage operate routes 76, 153, 191, 192, 357, 379, 476, 616, 657, 675, W10. Capital Citybus was bought out by the management team in late 1995
Alexander Dennis Enviro400
The Alexander Dennis Enviro400 is a twin-axle or three-axle double-decker bus built by the British bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis since 2005 in Guildford, England. The second generation Enviro400 MMC was launched in 2014 followed by the Enviro400H City for the London market in 2015. All variants of the Enviro400 are offered as a diesel-electric hybrid bus, known as the Enviro400H. In 2018 Alexander Dennis launched the Enviro400EV electric variant using a powertrain and battery from BYD, the three-axle Enviro400XLB on the Volvo B8L chassis; the Enviro400 is available both as a standalone bodywork and chassis. The Enviro400 chassis replaced the Dennis Trident 2 and was available with East Lancs Myllennium Lolyne and Optare Olympus bodywork; the first Enviro400 was delivered to Stagecoach London in December 2005 to replace the Alexander ALX400-bodied Dennis Trident 2, destroyed in the 7 July 2005 bombings, with the replacement bus being named the "Spirit of London" as a result. The Enviro400 was launched as an integral product.
Soon after launch, the Enviro400 chassis became available with East Lancs Myllennium Lolyne and Optare Olympus bodywork. As well as an integral bus, the Enviro400 body was available on Scania N-series chassis; the vast majority of N-series Enviro400s built were of the N230UD variant, which sold well with Stagecoach Group. Additionally, two N-series Enviro400s were built on the more powerful N280UD variant of the chassis, both for Express Motors of Porthmadog; as well as the Scania N-series, a single Enviro400 was constructed on Volvo B7TL chassis before this chassis was succeeded by the Volvo B9TL, on which more examples of the Enviro400 were bodied. Alexander Dennis released a facelifted version of the first generation Enviro400 at Coach & Bus Live in 2009, with the main external visual differences being the incorporation of a line of white LED daytime running lights underneath the headlights in the main front light clusters, redesigned front bumpers and the relocation of the offside emergency exit door.
The facelift coincided with the introduction of a Euro 5 compliant drivetrain for the Enviro400. The facelifted first generation Enviro400 was sold alongside the original first generation Enviro400 until 2015, when both were discontinued in favour of the second generation Enviro400 MMC, Enviro400H MMC and Enviro400H City. On 1 May 2014, the second-generation Enviro400 was announced by Alexander Dennis, with changes including a complete body redesign and Euro VI engines as standard; the Oxford Bus Company was the first company to operate the Enviro400 MMC, followed by Go-Ahead and Reading Buses. The Enviro400 MMC is available on Scania N-series chassis, as with the previous model, although the N230UD chassis variant has now been phased out in favour of the N250UD. Stagecoach became the first customer to operate the Enviro400 MMC on N250UD chassis in 2016. Additionally, the Enviro400 MMC body is offered on a gas-powered version of the N280UD chassis, as the first gas-powered double-decker bus offered in the United Kingdom market.
The Enviro400 MMC is offered on Volvo B5LH hybrid chassis, which has so far sold in higher quantities than the previous model on the B7TL and B9TL combined with larger groups like Stagecoach. An overhauled version of the Enviro400 MMC, named the Enviro400H City, was unveiled at Bus and Coach Expo in October 2015, it is aimed at the London market, has styling cues from the New Routemaster and Enviro200 MMC. Arriva London was the first to operator to operate the Enviro400H City, on route 78; the Enviro400H City is only sold as an integral hybrid and is offered in the London market, to directly compete with the New Routemaster. Blackpool Transport became the first operator outside London to order the Enviro400 City in January 2016 for the 9 service, to be upgraded to high-specification Palladium standard with the arrival of the new buses. Nottingham City Transport ordered 53 of these buses to be powered by gas, it was part of the OLEV bidding and the buses entered service in Summer 2017. In 2018 Alexander Dennis launched the Enviro400EV electric variant using a powertrain and battery from BYD.
This 10.9 meter long variant is due to enter service in 2019 with Metroline in London and is the 2nd EV bus model from Alexander Dennis following 2016's launch of the Enviro200EV. The chassis and battery are adapted from BYD's K10 10.2 meter RHD doubledecker which achieves a 303km service range from a 320kWh lithium iron phosphate battery and two 150kW motors. Alexander Dennis launched the three-axle Enviro400XLB in 2018, on the Volvo B8L chassis, with an initial order of 42 vehicles for Lothian Buses; these 100-seat vehicles are intended for British and Irish operators who benefit from the XLB's high degree of commonality with other Enviro400 variants - the Enviro500 has a different body structure and is intended for international markets. Globally, more than 6,000 integral Enviro400s have been sold as of January 2016. London operator Metroline was the first company to order the Enviro400, with the first of 28 entering service in January 2006. One dual door demonstrator, named "Spirit of London", was delivered to Stagecoach London to replace the Dennis Trident destroyed during 7 July 2005 London bombings and a single door demonstrator was delivered to the Travel West Midlands for evaluation.
Both prototypes were
A low-floor bus is a bus or trolleybus that has no steps between the ground and the floor of the bus at one or more entrances, low floor for part or all of the passenger cabin. A bus with a partial low floor may be referred to as a low-entry bus in some locations. Low floor refers to a bus deck, accessible from the sidewalk with only a single step with a small height difference, caused by the difference between the bus deck and sidewalk; this is distinct from high-floor, a bus deck design that requires climbing one or more steps to access the interior floor, placed at a higher height. Being low-floor improves the accessibility of the bus for the public the elderly and people with disabilities, including those using wheelchairs and walkers. All are rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout with no drive shaft. Low-floor buses are divided into two major types: low-floor buses with a low floor throughout the length of the bus, low-entry buses with step-free access to only a part of the bus, most between the front door and the middle door.
In North America, both types are called low-floor, as the majority of the vehicle has a low floor, without steps at the doors. The main reason for choosing a low-entry configuration is to allow better placement for the powertrain and other technical equipment in the raised floor section, in addition to allowing a more comfortable ride on rough roads; some manufacturers use the initials LF or L in their model designations for low-floor models, in North America buses that are low-floor are also designated LF. In some countries, LE, short for Low Entry, is used by some manufacturers in their model designations for low-entry buses. Most bus manufacturers achieve a low floor height by making rear-engined rear-wheel drive buses with independent front suspension, so that no axle is needed to pass under the floor of the front part of passenger compartment, or a lowered front axle; some full low-floor buses have a lowered rear axle, while the rear axle is not an issue on a low-entry bus. Many low-floor buses, including the Irisbus Citelis, has the engine in a vertical cabinet at the rear of the bus.
Van Hool have a series of "side-engine mid-drive" buses that puts the engine off to one side of the cabin longitudinally between the first and the second axle, to maximize usable cabin space. The same concept was utilized by Volvo on their B9S articulated chassis. For smaller buses, such as midibuses, the low-floor capability is achieved by placing the front wheels ahead of the entrance. One of the last types of buses to gain low-floor accessibility as standard was the minibus, where a similar front-wheel arrangement allows around 12 seats and a wheelchair space to be accommodated in small low-floor minibuses, such as the Optare Alero and Hino Poncho. Accessibility was achieved in paratransit type applications, which use small vehicles with the fitment of special lifts; the inception of small low-floor buses has allowed the development of several accessible demand-responsive transport schemes using standard'off-the-shelf' buses. A disadvantage of the low floor is accommodating the bus's own wheels.
With the low floor, the wheels protrude into the passenger cabin, need to be contained in wheel pockets of waist height, this occupies space which would otherwise be used for seating. To allow space for technical equipment, many low-floor buses have the seats mounted on podiums, making a small step up from the floor, while others are able to mount the seats directly to the floor, avoiding the step. Seating layout for a low-floor bus therefore requires careful design. Low floor configuration is known to have poor side to side dead load distribution within the chassis due to the asymmetrical off-centre placement of driveline components - engine and transmission; as a result, many of such buses require electronically controlled air suspension to compensate the lopsided configuration. Low-floor buses include an area without seating next to at least one of the doors, where wheelchairs, strollers/prams, where allowed bicycles, can be parked; this is sometimes not the only purpose of this area, though, as many operators employ larger standee areas for high occupancy at peak times.
Despite the space existing, operators may insist that only one or two wheelchairs or pushchairs can be accommodated unfolded, due to space/safety concerns. Low floors can be complemented by a hydraulic or pneumatic'kneeling device', which can be used when the bus is not in motion, tilting it or lowering it at the front axle further down to normal curb height. Depending on how close to the curb the bus is parked and wheelchair design, this can allow wheelchair users to board unaided. Though such technology has been available and in use on high-floor buses since the 1970s, it is of significant utility on low-floor vehicles only where it enables less-mobile passengers to board and leave the vehicle without help from others. Many vehicles are equipped with wheel-chair lifts, or ramps which, when combined with a low floor, can provide a nearly level entry. An interesting implementation of the low floor design exists in Australia, where Custom Coaches makes a "Hybrid" variant of its CB60 bodywork.
These buses combine a smaller low floor area with a small underfloor bin for some luggage. Whilst these buses do not provide a full amount of luggage space, they can be used to house more luggage than what can be held inside the bus itself. Another drawback