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Bob Moon: Starting today, New Yorkers will have a new option for getting to work, one they haven’t laid eyes on in years: the double-decker bus. The city is trying out a slick, blue double-decker. It’ll ply a few different routes on its month-long trial. Depending on how it runs and how passengers like it, New York City Transit may order up a small fleet. Ashley Milne-Tyte has been looking into the possible financial advantages.
Ashley Milne-Tyte: [sound of bus revving up] Right now tourist buses like this one in Times Square are the only double-deckers in New York. The regular city bus is long and thin, with a turntable device in the middle that helps it take corners. Charles Seaton is a spokesman for New York City Transit. He says that turntable needs a lot of pricey maintenance, so the city’s giving the double-decker a try.
Charles Seaton: You’re carrying more customers with a bus that is less complicated to operate and less expensive to operate.
Seaton says the double-decker seats 81, whereas a regular bus seats 60. Tourists who can get a seat on the trial bus will get rooftop views for a fraction of the cost charged by the tourist double-deckers. Miguel Ramos works for tourist bus company the Gray Line. He’s not worried about the competition.
Miguel Ramos: Our service is gonna be greater, you know. And I think we’ll have much more clientele.
He says there’s plenty of room for a new bus on the block.
In New York I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.
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