public transit buses

How come public transport buses in N.America are so noisy inside?I use them everyday and some buses are brand new ,shiny but inside when on the road everything inside(seats,hand rails,windows,engine) make such a noise that feels like they will fall apart.
I have been on european city buses and is so quiet inside that one can make conversation easilly.It is realy so difficult to build a stupid bus?

You’re not in Seattle, are you? Not only are our buses reletively quiet but the very newest ones have real live air conditioning. Haleujah!

Damn. I popped in here specifically to mention Seattle City buses.

I always assumed the main reason for their lack of noise was due to the electric lines they ran attached to for supplemental power. Gives them a nice old america streetcar feel, minus the rails. But the coolest thing is that they have windows in the back!! I love Seattle!!

I’m not sure exactly why Seattle uses these and no other city I’ve been to does. I would guess that its because they were a bygone remnant that the city decided to keep and it turned out for the better. In most parts of the states i’ve been to ( west coast ) buses seem like they are for second class citizens ( a shame, I know, but it seems like that ) and things like noise just aren’t much of a pressing issue. And if you strung up cities with bus wire, a la Seattle, you’d probably have folks crying foul about blocking the sky and wasted tax money.

Likewise, you’re not in San Francisco.

Our older coaches sound like they are falling apart, but the new ones are pretty quiet inside. The riders, on the other hand, are noiser than ever.

There may be a reason, though - the new ones appear to be of German origin. Similarly, they replaced the decrepit American designed- and built (Boeing Vertol) streetcars with Italian (Pininfarina and Breda) designs, and the noise level inside dropped like a rock. Can’t have everything, though - the “door is blocked” squeal is noxious.

London, Ontario checking in to confirm extensive noisy bus sightings :smiley:

Baltimore has its fair share of horrendously noisy buses.

Although sometimes they’re extremely quiet–but that’s usually when they’ve broken down and are sitting idle.

New York’s and Rochester’s buses are not particularly noisy either. Where you at, anyway?

I’ve seen at least one trolley-bus line in San Francisco. It’s remarkable how well they work; the overhead power lines run above the center of the road, but the bus is free to change lanes or pull over to the curb (an obvious requirement) because the contacts leading up from the roof of the bus can move around as necessary.

You’re right that folks would cry foul, “eyesore” being the most likely epithet. But when I look around me and see the things that are evidently not considered eysores, such as strip malls, parking lots, and auto-dependent tracts of cookie-cutter houses, the logic of the thing eludes me. Even things that are obviously useful to a majority of people, like cell towers, are considered eyesores, let alone something that would improve the bus system only used by a minority of the population.

Lexington’s LexTran buses are noisy on the inside and outside, as well as from 5 miles away. They are also dirty, smelly, clouded in choking black smoke and usually late.

I’m convinced they must be coal-fired or something, because they put out more smoke than a pulling tractor at the starting line.

Only “supplemental power”? Do they also have engines?

It’s too bad overhead traction buses aren’t more common. It seems to me they have the smooth, quiet, and jerky operation of a streetcar without the nuisance of rails in the street. Except that you can more easily re-route motor buses, I don’t see any advantage at all to them over trolley-buses, and for older routes in the city core I don’t see why that would ever be an issue. I mean, the Wilshire bus in L.A. and the Michigan Avenue bus in Chicago have undoubtedly been plying the same routes for 75 years or more.

The buses where i am (South Eastern Britain) are quiet but they vibrate a lot… it has a habit of sending me to sleep…

You can lie on top of a clothes dryer for the same effect if you’re having trouble getting to sleep and don’t have a bus handy.

Virtually every major city used to have streetcar lines; the relative paucity nowadays is due to the fact that GM bought out most of the streetcar lines and closed them, in order to promote private automobile use.

I’m in Mississauga/Ontario city on the outskirts of Toronto.
We have those “new” low floor buses ,they look very cool plus they are air conditioned .I believe they are made in Canada or States,so far noise inside is not very excesive but let’s wait another year and see .

Here in Denver on the 16th street mall we have CNG/electric hybrid busses.They are actually pretty cool, Quiet, smooth, no black smoke etc. However they do stop every block, so they never get much above 15 MPH or so, but I’d imagine they could go at a decent speed smoothly.

Pilzner, the one drawback to our trollies is that if one of them gets delayed then others behind it get delayed too because they can’t just go around. They have to stay connected to the lines to move. Fortunately, most Seattlites are uncomplaining. They know that stuff happens.

The advantage is that electric trolleys can handle our steep hills better and more efficiently too. I’m pretty sure that fuel-wise, they’ve got to be much cheaper than our diesel buses. I think that’s several of the reasons Metro keeps them going.

We have lots of diesels too. We had some methane-powered ones but those were discontinued last year, I believe. We are supposed to get some hybrids in the near future, I hear.

Another good thing about our buses is that the vast majority of of the drivers are very nice, polite and well-trained. Overall, they’re a great bunch.

friedo, the older buses in Rochester are terrible. Built in the late 60s and early 70s, they’re basically one long tube interrupted only by plastic benches with plastic paneling on the inside. It’s an acoustic nightmare, with the engine noise and road vibrations rolling around from one end to the other. It’s been a couple years since I’ve lived on a bus line, but I do know they’ve been getting rid of them as fast as they can. The new buses, however, are quite nice, except that you have to look through a billboard to see out the window.

Err, make that non-jerky.

Some of Nashville’s transit buses are so old and rickety that you dare not sit near the rear wheel well while riding over train tracks - you might lose your teeth. But they just got quite a few brand new buses which are nice and quiet and smooth.

Except for the P.A. system installed:


Then it says it in Spanish. It’s usually so loud that it stops all conversations in their tracks.

Downtown Toronto still has operating street cars, I believe. At least it did ~3 years ago.