TORONTO — The union representing OC Transpo drivers has raised concerns about the double-decker buses like the one involved in Wednesday’s fatal crash.
The Amalgamated Transit Union 279 convinced OC Transpo to pull the buses off Woodroffe Ave. during winter months after two of the buses fell over in icy and windy conditions.
The city added 75 double-decker buses to its fleet at a cost of more than $80 million. Measuring 4.41 metres in height, they can accommodate 90 passengers, including seats for 82.
According to OC Transpo’s website, passengers are not permitted to stand on the upper level of the buses.
Double-decker buses are used in several other Canadian cities including Victoria and Kelowna and by GO Transit in the Greater Toronto Area.
Earlier this year, GO Transit added 25 double-decker buses that are 10 cm lower than its 22 existing double-deckers.
There have been several accidents involving double-decker buses — mostly related to their height.
One person was killed and dozens were injured when a double-decker Megabus crashed into a bridge support pillar on an Illinois highway in August 2012.
That same month, a Megabus double-decker caught fire on a Georgia highway. No one was injured.
In 2010, four people were killed and several others were injured when a Toronto-bound double-decker Megabus struck a railway bridge near Syracuse, New York.
Two passengers were injured in July when a double-decker Megabus got wedged under an overpass in New York City.
Wednesday’s accident involving an OC Transpo bus and a train comes a year after two articulated buses collided on the city’s Transitway.
More than a dozen people were injured Feb. 7, 2012 when one of the extended buses was hit by another near Tunney’s Pasture, just west of the city’s downtown.
There were no fatalities and none of the injuries were critical.
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