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    Transit, politics, biking, exploring, and making things to eat

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  1. There's a 2012 BT Xcelsior sitting on a tow hook all day yesterday at the corner of Speers/Third at Action Towing. Did it breakdown after BT closed or what? Wow.... Should I be surprised? It would be interested if some new, better Canadian companies entered the 30ft market (Nova, Flyer.... Maybe even Prevost).
  2. Oh my goodness, you're literally A. going in circles, B. changing your argument ever other post and, C. only verifying everything I said. We're not talking about "boxes", otherwise we'd be talking about U-haul. We're talking about a finished product on a bus route.... Which only occurs when a builder, builds a final product and it gets bought by a transit agency.... Not a box on the curb. This is getting redundant. I'm not replying anymore. Drive school bus, work in transit, take transit planning in school, meet with transit advocacy groups and managers, see what the minister of transportation has to say.... and most importantly, reach out to riders. Then, come back and make your point, a little more informed.
  3. Do you know what happened to 1904 today? It had to get taken out of service early around 3pm and sent to lane 1, then the shop. Was that "warranty" related or is that something separate?
  4. There won't ever be imperical evidence for a qualitative issue. People ride these buses not because they want to, but because they have no choice... Hence why ridership doesn't tank. But ridership also doesn't really grow, because whoever could CHOOSE to ride a bus, doesn't, BECAUSE of the type of vehicle being uncomfortable, unreliable, and less "convenient" than a car. The research is out there. Comfort/ride-quality is only one of a few factors that influence interest in transit use (hence modifications to vehicle amenities that obviously DO matter). The vehicle does matter, cause if it didn't, it would be so much cheaper to use a bunch of school buses, but then NO ONE would stand for that. I guarantee you, that if city buses got a lot worse, people would start walking. Novas aren't the end of world by any means, but it is a fact that they simply aren't the best option for Hamilton - as they are currently constructed. That is a fact. And people do care. Exactly what I'm saying ^^^^ The improved ride quality of an LRV is one of the key defining factors always touted to improve and draw ridership. That is a strong argument that proves a better, more comfortable vehicle, will get people oit of their car (or truck) more often. And it also proves the average Joe does care about what they have endure to get where they want to go.
  5. And yet, riders do care, even if said employees don't care, cause riders AND drivers complain....and put in the time and effort to complian about and avoid HSR (and other agencies). A recent article in the Spec highlighted poor schedules and late/early but never on-time performance according to the writer. Another article from last summer lamented the lack of space and seating, and crowding due to wheelchairs/strollers taking up too much room, over heating, and poor layouts of some 40ft buses (referencing the "newer" buses at the time, being CNG Novas). In reality, the type of bus does matter to many people, because the bus has to suit the city too, and be attractive to potential riders. The city can't be changed to suit the bus. I personally like driving Novas, but a number of customers have mentioned (particularly older riders), that Novas are too bumpy and wabbling, and that they feel less comfortable because of this. In Hamilton, the roads are AWFUL in some places, and that has nothing to do with NovaBus. With regards to the North American bus market, I still think NovaBus produces one of the best products available. However, in it's current design, other vehicles would better suit Hamilton's current requirements. Politics should not have a roll in bus purchases like it does right now... It's gumming things up, and it's not providing the best value for money to the public.
  6. Oh no, the reality is, in Hamilton people DO notice the ride and vehicle quality. I read the Spectator and watch CHCH and local news, and you'd actually be surprised that there have been stories about the lesser ride quality of the Novas. Just last week in the Spec, a reader wrote in to comment that the Novas make him "hang on for dear life" as he's tossed about on his way to McMaster. Another article spoke of the bad airflow in the summer and how the bumpy ride is making riders sick or wait for the next bus. People notice, and people have suggested they will stop riding HSR if they get the chance. Nobody cares about procurement. Except maybe some people here. But people do care about the quality of their ride (buses). Procurement is no excuse for half-baked purchases.
  7. Cuts in a time when we should be maximizing our services to focus on core demographics and service areas. We don't need cuts, we need more efficient provision. The routes up on the chopper are A. still being used (just not as used as other routes) and B. could be only slightly modified to optimize their appeal to local riders. Rejig the schedules and routes, but not more cuts. It's only a further deterrent to using public transit, and it's been proven that cuts cost more in the long run. If I learned one thing doing transit planning at university, it was proof that death does come by a thousand cuts (to all public services). Cuts kill transit. Unfortunately, not Transit, but the government at all levels seems bent on reducing investment - and return - from public transit. Yet, in a time of austerity, we still find hundreds of millions of dollars to build and endlessly repave highways... Highways that unlike transit are NOT expected to collect a fare/toll. Again, Transit isn't exactly looking to axe it's own limbs, but there are a number of other groups we can blame for these unnecessary cuts, and we should all feel some sympathy for Oakville Transit administrators. Tough choices are unfortunately out of their control, from what I've been told.
  8. It's from the cooling fans on the roof. And turbo blow back makes the chugging sound. This is most obvious on routes with highways or hills, just open the rear roof hatch and enjoy. On New Flyers, it's the transmission that makes that whining sound. Yes. Better buses last longer and attract ridership. People (citizens) are more important to me than dollars (bureaucrats).
  9. Oh I knew from day one.... To h*ll with the low-bid system, that's why we keep getting garbage. This is a waste of tax payer money.
  10. When did the other 2 come in? I only ever saw 3. As for cosmetic changes, it's only interior stuff really, might we get the new window in future orders?
  11. So an inside source has told me that HSR isn't too pleased with their Novas. The jist, back to New Flyer for the time being.
  12. Honestly, it seems the more people speculate/talk about it, the more likely it could happen. To be honest, at this point I can't say I support amalgamation, not governmentally, and not in a transit sense. The goals/visions are all too different. And back to transit, I worry amalgamation will mean one big Milton Transit - everyone here knows what that means. I doubt forced amalgamation will lead to better service and provision, but instead cheaper, worse service in what used to be Oakville Transit and Burlington Transit, with no real improvement anywhere maybe other than an or some inter-city routes. Put simply, I think each town, particularly Oakville and Burlington, are doing just fine for now. Amalgamation would change that.
  13. Where did these route ideas come from? They're very similar to my own plans that I was gonna pitch in March. But I'm certain it's simply OT learning year over year. These are good changes! 15 to Rio Can was kinda unnecessary, but to Bronte GO would be an interesting test. Once one of the Novas come in, is 4101 gonna be first to go? Or 5105?
  14. Do you think maybe that's on purpose cause they'll drop the LF soon, or no? This is an amusing observation.
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