29

In Indonesia, certainly on Lombok and I think I also saw it on Bali, there is the Damri bus company. What appeared to me as rather odd, was that their bus stations had an elevated platform (around one meter) as you can see here:

Damri bus station

Photo by Rafael.lcw0120 / CC BY SA

Consequently, the buses also had an elevated door.

This was rather surprising to me, given the additional cost of the stations and of the special buses and the norm in south-east asia that you can simply exit the bus wherever you want, not just on proper stations.

So, why do they do this? The only reason I can see is to prevent people from getting out in the middle of the road, but given that this is quite common in Indonesia I don't really see why they would have an interest to do so.

  • 3
    The Trans Sarbagita service is an express service and so perhaps they wanted to break with the get-out-anywhere tradition to make it an express. – chx Jan 4 '17 at 5:35
  • @chx Sorry, it was the first picture I found an the net, as I forgot to take a picture myself. This was certainly also present on my bus to the airport on Lombok, no idea if this is supposed to be an "express service". However, given that getting out is usually super fast (people just stepping out, so roughly like 5 seconds) I am not really convinced it will make it any faster. – dirkk Jan 4 '17 at 5:51
  • @GayotFow There is just one door, so yes, same door. No exclusive lanes for buses, they use the one and only lane. I didn't get where I should have read what you cite here and given that it most likely would have been in Bahasian Indonesien I most likely would not have understood it anyways. – dirkk Jan 4 '17 at 5:53
  • 1
    @Doc I specifically stated that I talk about Indonesia, especially Lombok and Bali. What exactly has the traffic in Istanbul to do with this? – dirkk Jan 4 '17 at 9:47
  • 1
    Just another idea: Could it be about using or reusing busses from a proper BRT system like in Jakarta? – Relaxed Jan 4 '17 at 12:54
19

The platform and high-entry door provide what is called 'Platform Level Boarding'.

Platform level boarding refers to a transport system (normally relevant to buses) where the doors are at the same level as the platform the passenger is entering the bus from. The main advantage of such a system is that people can enter and exit the bus faster, as they do not need to spend time stepping up/down stairs on the bus.

Platform level boarding can be achieve in two ways - by having low doors and a relatively normal sized curb, or having high doors as in the system you've described, and having the platform to enter/exit the bus being at the same height. Low entries cause the loss of a significant amount of space within the bus due to the wheel arches, and can also leave the bus less able to handle road obstacle such as speed bumps or potholes.

When high entry doors are used, the busy stops will normally have a passenger platform level with the high doors - similar to what you would normally find at a train station. The bus will pull up to the stop, and the passengers will walk directly onto the bus.

In some implementations, less busy stops, like the one you've shown in the picture, will have a platform like you've shown, which is suitable given the lower volume of passengers loading and unloading. Some such systems will even have 2 different heights of doors - one of which is used for the high-volume stops (with an elevated platform), and the others similar to a normal bus (with steps) that are used at normal stops.

These types of buses are common as a part of a "Bus Rapid Transit" (BRT) system, where buses are used to provide the type of dedicated transport system that would normally be associated with rail-based transport - but without the need for as much custom infrastructure. BRT's will normally have specialized, dedicated stops (again, similar to train station) which makes managing the high doors more feasible than on a normal bus route.

In these types of systems, the time taken for passengers to load and unload needs to be kept to an absolute minimum. For example, at peak periods the Metrobus system in Istanbul, Turkey has a bus scheduled to leave the stations every 14 seconds (and even over the entire 24 hours of the day it's one every 28 seconds) - every fraction of a second loading passengers makes a difference! (That particular system uses low-level doors, which works due to it using dedicated roads - but the concept is the same)

  • 2
    I see your points about the BRT and most likely it is the same principle they use here, but to me it still doesn't make much sense in this context. As said before in a comment to the question Istanbul is just not the same as rural Lombok. In Lombok there is a bus every hour and no-one cares about 5 seconds or some delays. I can absolutely see why such a system make sense in large cities like Istanbul or Jakarta, but in rural areas it seems to me be rather misplaced. – dirkk Jan 4 '17 at 11:40
  • 2
    @dirkk the photo you included is from Denpasar (Bali) not Lombok. You can find details of the Denpasar BTS system at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans_Sarbagita, including a photo of a bus with 2 doors are different levels as I described. I can find no reference to such a system being used in Lombok. – Doc Jan 4 '17 at 16:15
  • 1
    Perhaps (if it is indeed the case in Lombok) they use the platforms simply because they have them in Bali, and it's cheaper to use the same buses here? – Joe Jan 4 '17 at 21:17
  • @Doc Sorry, I didn't mention it in my question, just in a comment: I just forgot to take a picture in Lombok, so I just found this one (from Bali). Quite likely there is no reference on the internet, but I can assure you that it is there on Lombok. I saw it with my own eyes :) – dirkk Jan 5 '17 at 6:45
  • 1
    An unofficial advantage is that the driver can not drop or pick you in any other place. No matter how nicely (or vehemently) you ask (Doesn't make sense in rural Lombok) – Madlozoz Jan 5 '17 at 12:12
17

It looks like this is for Bali's BRT system (and Lombok has one too under trial), which is modelled on Jakarta's TransJakarta (Tije), a pioneering busway service that aims to provide metro-like reliability, frequency and capacity using buses running on fully dedicated lanes: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/TransJakarta

courtesy Wikimedia Commons

One of the keys to doing this is that, unlike ordinary buses and bemos which can and do stop anywhere, Tije buses only stop at designated shelters (stations, really). Not only are these elevated, but they're usually in the road median, connected by pedestrian bridges (so people don't dash across the road and get flattened), and start the fare area so passengers are already ticketed and ready to go when the bus arrives.

  • 2
    Where is the dedicated lane on this picture? – Estey Jan 4 '17 at 7:39
  • 1
    It's the green ones extending out from the rear of the station. – jpatokal Jan 4 '17 at 7:58
  • 2
    @Relaxed My money's mostly on the image: the signage is effectively identical and they're using the "Trans" branding as well. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans_Sarbagita – jpatokal Jan 4 '17 at 11:23
  • 2
    @dirkk DAMRI is Indonesia's state-owned bus operator which runs both TransJakarta and the airport buses: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DAMRI_bus – jpatokal Jan 4 '17 at 12:00
  • 1
    @jpatokal I had a hard time seeing the dedicated lane on that picture. As far as I can tell, there indeed is a dedicated bus lane on the other side of the green railing, but it's pretty well hidden (I had to look at the original). Wouldn't another image (like this one) be better? – svick Jan 4 '17 at 16:55

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.