There is a 37-year age difference between them, but what actually travels better: the brand-new Ebusco 2.2 from Qbuzz or an old “Den Oudsten-Daf” from GADO?
Bus driver Jan Huizinga (Qbuzz Groningen-Drenthe, the Netherlands) and Yvonne de Noord, writer and passionate traveler, are testing it. They take a ride with both buses.
“At a threshold I flew into the air”
While the bus drives away, Yvonne puts on her scarf and puts on her gloves. The cold evokes memories. “As a child I was often on such a bus. In the winter I put my feet on the stove under the seat; there where the warm air came out. My brother and I liked sitting in the back and when a speed bump came, we flew – hop! – in the air.”
“I have to pay attention to many things at once”
What are Jan’s findings of the bus? He is approaching an intersection, so he is slowing down. One of the things that strikes him is the limited visibility: “I only have two mirrors on this bus and therefore I don’t see the other traffic as well. In addition, I experience that steering is heavy and I have to pay attention to many things at the same time. ” Laughing: “Next to this I am no longer used to this heavy diesel air!”
“There you are !”
At the Bus Museum in Hoogezand, director Bart Bekkering hands over the key to bus driver Jan from the almost elderly GADO bus. He is given a tachograph: a white paper disc with which you used to record the driving time and speed of a bus. “In this 1982 bus you did everything manually, for example entering the correct destination. Then you turned the lever above the windshield. Fortunately, we were driving mostly the same rides, but with a new ride you were unlucky, then you had to turn more often.”
Jan has to get used to driving electric. “I just accellerated and immediately ran off. In some situations it is nice if you can drive away quickly. This bus is more stable on the road and runs almost silently. Fortunately, these buses are equipped with a “tram bell” to warn pedestrians and cyclists. ”
Jan admires the driver’s cabin and is happy with what he sees. “It’s spacious and my chair is easy to operate. The dashboard also looks luxurious. It is a complete difference with such an old GADO bus. It’s nice that the cards, stamps and money boxes are now a thing of the past. The traveler can only pay with the pin or OV chip card. ”
Jan Huizinga: “I can drop off my drivers’ bag to the Bus Museum. With all these modern conveniences I only have to carry my lunch box with me!”
People with disabilities were also considered when developing the new electric bus. Yvonne: “There are special places for people in a wheelchair, and for those who have difficulty walking or have low vision. With a kind of trick, the driver can lower the bus. That way they can enter through a wheelchair board. ”
Source article: BUS magazine OV bureau Groningen-Drenthe (2020)