This VDV Recommendation, which is entitled “Framework Recommendation on Urban Low-floor Line-service Buses”, is intended to support public transport companies and bus manufacturers generally and by tendering on an ever more complex transport market. More than ever, public transport companies have to unite the contrary requirements for financing, passenger comfort and up-to-date operation. The total life cycle costs (LCC) for line-service buses as well as their suitable equipment and efficient operation are of major importance. This Framework Recommendation cannot only be applied to standard line-service buses, but also to e.g. articulated buses, midibuses and trolleybuses.
A high degree of standardisation is desirable for several reasons: The passengers and the drivers can use all buses in the same way, and the work of the workshop staff is simplified with standardised bus types and standardised equipment. Nevertheless, standardisation shall not be a dogma. It must be allowed to further develop existing systems and to test technical innovations to facilitate progress and to make public transport sustainable. The introduction of low-floor line-service bus systems in Germany, which are now more or less standard everywhere in the world, proves that there is considerable room for improvement if we dare to introduce innovations. Therefore, the requirements in this VDV Recommendation are to be regarded as performance requirements that define practically oriented criteria without detailing the way in which they are to be reached.
Due to the fact that calls for tenders are Europe-wide nowadays a bus fleet often consists of buses from several bus manufacturers. The performance requirements given in this VDV Recommendation are to minimise the disadvantages to drivers and passengers that might occur for this reason. It is especially important to occasional public transport passengers that it is easy to use the public transport system and that there are no access thresholds. Thus, it is not only a requirement that the fare systems are easily understandable and the timetables clear, but also that the equipment in the various bus types is easily recognised. Identical or very similar actuators and control elements do not only make the drivers’ work easier, but also simplify the operation and make the drivers’ working hours more effective. The performance requirements given in this VDV Recommendation can be used as parameters for an economically necessary and meaningful degree of standardisation at the driver’s workplace and in the passenger compartment.
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