News / Published on May 31, 2024

Community Transit's Double Tall™ buses are designed for running on Snohomish County roads

More riders. Less maintenance. Smaller footprint. Bigger views.­

Five Community Transit Double Tall, double-decker buses parked diagonally in the bus yard.Double Talls have replaced aging 60-foot articulated buses to add more seats to our 400-series routes serving trips to downtown Seattle. The 47 Double Talls represent the U.S.'s second-largest fleet of double-deckers!

Our Double Talls:

  • Are 42.5 feet long and 13.6 feet tall.
  • Seat 80 passengers – 57 upstairs, 23 downstairs – plus have designated standing room. At times, there are more than 100 riders on a single Double Tall!

Compared to the 60-foot, 60-seat buses they replaced, Double Talls:

  • Seat more passengers in less road space.
  • Ease crowding on popular commuter routes that run on I-5 and on Seattle streets and at Community Transit's Kasch Park base in Everett.
  • Are funded mostly by a mix of federal and state funding.

Because of their ability to ease congestion on I-5 between Snohomish County and Seattle, Double Tall buses score well in Washington Regional Mobility Grant funding competitions.

The Double Tall buses require less maintenance (since there's no joint in the middle) and use less fuel than the articulated buses. As a result, they handle snowy and icy road conditions better when articulated buses are usually removed from service.

Facts About the Double Tall

The Double Talls are made by Alexander Dennis Ltd., the company that makes the famous London double-deckers.

Community Transit's decision to buy these buses required the Scotland-based bus manufacturer to build these buses in the United States to meet federal Buy America standards. This is a requirement for the federal money that helped pay for the buses.

Bus Model: Enviro 500

  • Manufacturer: Alexander Dennis Limited
  • Ceiling height: 5 feet 7 inches. (Please watch your head!)
  • Extra-large windows: (Enjoy the views!)
  • High-back reclining seats (Sit back and relax!)
  • Height: 13.6 feet
  • Weight: 52,911 lbs
  • Length: 42.5 feet
  • Capacity: 80 seats, with lower deck standing room for up to 21 passengers
  • Weight distribution: 70 percent of weight is within 4 feet of the ground, making the buses very stable.
  • Comfort: All seats have 3 inches more hip-to-knee room than standard; reading lights; individual air vents
  • Double-deckers in U.S. transit: Las Vegas has the largest fleet of double-decker buses in regular transit operation.

Where to find a Double Tall

Most Double Talls are assigned to early morning routes going into downtown Seattle (Routes 402, 405, 410, 413, 415, 416,417, 421, 422, 425).  Your best chance at riding a Double Tall bus is on Route 512 (which runs throughout the day and on weekends). Please note that another bus may be assigned due to maintenance and availability.

Source: Community Transit 2022 Transit Development Plan, Page 32