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  1. King County Metro's union does something like this once a year where they take a Metro bus down to Olympia for the day with off duty operators and staff so they can speak with their representatives.
  2. Here is the mater contract for WA DES https://fortress.wa.gov/es/apps/ContractSearch/ContractSummary.aspx?c=09214 Here is the ST order https://www.soundtransit.org/sites/default/files/Motion M2016-03_0.pdf Neither make mention of exact vehicle model # however.
  3. They actually purchased #911, and it was renumbered 909. The renumbering happened in 2016, sometime in-between February and August as I have a shot of #65 with its original fleet numbers taken in early Feb.
  4. The "A" pillar blind spot has been around for decades, I'm not sure of a fleet of coaches built from the 1980s onward that has not had some form of blind spot, either with the A pillar, or mirror, or both. My Orion has it, New Flyers have a similar situation with tall mirrors, not sure about phantom's but I think they too have the problem as metro refitted all the mirrors to the 6" square ones. Moral of the story is that yes there are accidents, yes some of them could be preventable, no matter which coach you have there's always going to be some issue, get over it, and move on. Instead of blaming the bus, or the poor operator, start looking at your schedule, is it realistic, and the recovery time allotted, look at better training for new employees, look at minimum time off in-between work days, look at separating pedestrian and vehicle "phases" of traffic lights, and adding more dedicated turn arrows along transit lines to reduce the possibility's of conflict, and move on. the bigger issue isn't so much of vehicle design, its the fact that your staff are rushed in their job because not enough time is allocated during the day, because traffic volumes are so high you don't get good clear opportunities to make turns, some turns are just bad period, and when you are rushed there are more accidents. That's my two cents.
  5. I saw an unknown newflyer Xcelsior at the truck wash in Lakewood on Monday night. It was green in upper body color, but could not see the fleet number clearly, although it may have been 72XX
  6. 23 more CNG Gilligs are on their way for PT. This means the end of the line for the 8000s. https://www.piercetransit.org/file_viewer.php?id=3102
  7. I remember riding 2399 on a demonstration loop during its time in service. I think the interior signs were orange LED if I remember right. Its interesting how things from that report made it into the production OBS deployment a few years ago. Most notably the location of the interior display on the gillig coaches.
  8. Vehicle not found indicates it hasn't been online and signed into a run/block/etc. in a period of time. Now, this could indicate retirement or reserve storage, but it could also indicate that its OOS waiting for parts or repair as well. For all we know it could be in training duty in which case its not signed into a run/block/etc. and while its still out and about the system does not see it and its "vehicle not found". I somehow doubt a throatier sounding engine is the exact reason why its "grounded". Now if it sounds like its dropped a valve, or has an exhaust leak, or bad muffler/particulate trap that's another story...
  9. King County Metro will purchase up to 73 battery-electric buses from Proterra at a cost of up to $55 million, starting with 20 buses totaling $15.1 million. So they are buying 20 more, with options up to 73. I wonder how/where they will deploy them, and what they will keep as an additional spare ratio to cover situations where a battery bus would not work so well.
  10. It could have something to do with federal regulations, or it could simply be the rail division fleet manager picking that, while the bus division fleet manager picked something else.
  11. Your cost/benefit ratio starts to decline heavily when a bus reaches the end of its useful life. Sure $30,000 is change compared to the price of a new bus, but than when you factor in $20,000 to replace an engine, $15,000 for a transmission, now you're in it for $65,000 now add the additional downtime for the vehicle for these repairs as they crop up, having to explain to the FTA why your buses are out of service so much, possibly not making pull outs because of so many vehicles on the deadline - oh and this doesn't count all the other routine repairs that older vehicles need more and more of as things just break due to age and wear. A bus can last as long as parts are available and someone is willing to sink the money and time into it, it just gets to a point after about 15-18 years that its really just time to send it down the road, and if you have not planned a replacement, that $65k is going to come due fast if it hasn't already and you're still going to wind up replacing the bus after sinking all the money into it.
  12. Last time I heard, replacing all the CNG tanks on a 40 ft Transit was in the $30,000 range. That's a LOT of money to be spending on an old bus.. And as with any pressure vessel they do need to be inspected on a regular basis, although they shouldn't have to be replaced too often. Typical lifespan of the carbon fiber tanks these days is 18-20+ years. Early steel and aluminum tanks were only 15-18 years.
  13. Last I had heard, adding a hybrid drive system adds roughly $200-250,000 to the purchase price of a coach. CNG also adds to the price as well, not quite as much but still does. and with CNG you also have to spend millions per garage installing a CNG fueling station (Compressors, Dryer, pressurized storage, new dispensers, methane detection and ventilation for indoor shop facilities, training for mechanics, etc.) for environmental impacts that honestly are somewhat debatable at this point with modern DEF/DPF technologies. One benefit is that fuel prices are lower, however that is compensated for additional higher cost for parts. The environmental impact of a particular model of bus does not generate or encourage ridership, the service, frequency, and span however do. As for a "focus" on rail, they have a lot invested in rail operations, and I would imagine that its also a significant portion of the ridership so it only makes sense that they focus on that. Plus politically it sounds good and if that's where most of your ridership is at that's what gets the attention. It does remind me of the "Bus Riders Union" case in LA where a disgruntled group of people, as I recall mostly minorities at the time successfully sued LACMTA under Title VI for discrimination as they were investing heavily in suburban rail service, at the neglect of bus service for minorities. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bus_Riders_Union_(Los_Angeles)
  14. I got to ride it a couple of weeks ago on the 580. It sounds different (quieter), like it lost the ISM and has been repowered with a Cummins ISC but I don't know for sure.
  15. Which two cars went? 133 appears to be one but I cant make out the other number. Also retired C40LF #9414 made news when a worker at the scrap yard dismantling her got blown off the roof and died. I believe this was the same scrapyard that also had a fire when an unidentified 1996 Orion V CNG from PT was being scrapped and a worker cut through a high pressure line. I think he also died. 9414 was last used in service on 1/29/16 and was sold at auction 7/30/16. http://komonews.com/news/local/1-injured-in-explosion-aboard-bus-at-pacific-recycling-facility